A samba-cancao old-timer whose career carried on into the 1970s, Adoniran Barbosa (1910-1982) hailed from Sao Paulo and made his reputation first as a samba composer in the 1930s and later as an actor on radio and television. Many of his songs were recorded by the 1950s vocal group, Demonios Da Garoa, but Barbosa only became a star himself in the 1970s, during a resurgence of interest in old-school samba. Here's a quick look at his work...
Adoniran Barbosa "Raizes Do Samba" (EMI/Copacabana, 1999)
What a delight! Sao Paulo samba composer Adoniran Barbosa croons and growls his way through a buoyant, luxuriant set of '70s-style pagode, acoustic-based and filled with large, cheerful vocal choruses. This CD collects twenty tracks drawn from albums recorded between 1973-80, with guest stars such as Elis Regina, Clementina De Jesus, Luiz Gonzaga Jr. and Djavan pitching in on various duets. It's all really nice stuff, comparable to the best work by contemporaries such as Martinho da Vila, Clara Nunes and Alcione. (For other interpretations of Barbosa's work, check out the classic recordings of the vocal group, Demonios Da Garoa, which helped popularize his work in the 1960s.
Adoniran Barbosa "Adoniran Barbosa" (Som Livre, 2002)
Alternately kitschy and soul-rending nostalgia material, recalling Barbosa's glory days, while also highlighting his age and comparative musical stuffness. This disc also draws on the handful of albums recorded by Barbosa in the last ten years of his life (from 1973-82), and includes some beautiful performances as well as several where he simply sounds old and tired. Actually, on these lesser cuts, Barbosa's vocals still had some emotional heft, but the musical and vocal arrangements behind him are pedestrian and uninvolving. At any rate, this is a nice compliment to the Raizes Do Samba collection reviewed above... They cover much of the same material, but each has songs on it that the other one does not.
Adoniran Barbosa "Serie Bis" (EMI/Copacabana, 1999)
Even better yet is this 2-CD set which spans the same 1970s/1980s era, but seems better paced and more captivating somehow. After I got this, I was ready to pass my copy of Raizes Do Samba on... This disc definitely supersedes that one.
Adoniran Barbosa "Adoniran Barbosa" (EMI-Odeon, 1974)
Adoniran Barbosa "Adoniran Barbosa" (EMI-Odeon, 1975)
Adoniran Barbosa/Various Artists "Adoniran Barbosa: 70 Anos" (EMI-Odeon, 1980)
Adoniran Barbosa "Documento Inedito" (Eldorado, 1984)
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