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Paulo Diniz portrait Paulo Diniz


Paulo Diniz "Brasil, Brasa, Braseiro" (Beverly/Copacabana, 1968)
The debut LP from songwriter/actor/drummer Paulo Diniz, who had recorded his first singles a couple of years earlier. This is funky, soulful pop, loosely in the jovem guarda style, but with a hard edge and a measure of grit that isn't often heard within the teenybopper JG canon... Some of this is relatively slight material, but there is an underlying solidity to this album that belies the conventional, romantic pop songs and undisciplined soul wailing that Diniz tilted towards. Indeed, compared to better-known Brazilian soul singers such as Tim Maia and Cassiano, Diniz is a much more skillful and varied performer. This disc only hints at his depths (check out his next record, Quero Voltar Pra Bahia...) but it's still a cut or two above many Brazilian pop-rock albums of the era. Worth checking out.

Paulo Diniz "Quero Voltar Pra Bahia" (EMI-Odeon, 1969)
Wow. Who knew? This is a surprisingly, thrillingly funky album, with an unusually accomplished psychedelic sound... quite a leap from his demure jovem guarda origins! Even on the slightest, poppiest tunes, Diniz has a fat, full sound backing him up, a rich funk-rock mix that recalls the best early work by Jorge Ben and Gilberto Gil. The title track is a pretty dumb, fluffy tune, sung in English, and has been covered by several artists over the years; this version is the original, sung by the composer. But the real eye openers on this album are his cover of Lupicino Rodrigues' old samba, "Felicidade," sung here as sort of an acid-soul roda de samba, with an out-of-control female chorus and a heavy, heavy backbeat underneath the vocal refrain. This is followed by a sizzling funk number, "Marginal III," with slinky guitar riffs worthy of Ben's best work. Diniz's vocals have their ups and downs -- I'm not fond of the uncontrolled, growling "soul" school of Tim Maia and Eduardo Arajao, which is where Diniz seems to have thrown his hat, but for the most part he sounds fine, coasting atop some of the best, fullest acid-pop arrangements I've heard on a Brazilian record of this era. This is a hidden nugget... Definitely recommended!

Paulo Diniz "Paulo Diniz" (Odeon, 1971)

Paulo Diniz "E Agora Jose" (Odeon, 1973)

(Produced by Milton Miranda & Lindolfo Gaya)

Paulo Diniz "Paulo Diniz" (Odeon, 1974)

Paulo Diniz "Estradas" (Odeon, 1976)

Paulo Diniz "E Marca Ferrada" (Odeon, 1978)

Paulo Diniz "Cancao Do Exlio" (Lanca, 1984)

Paulo Diniz "Serie Bis" (EMI, 2000)

Paulo Diniz "20 Super Sucessos" (Sony-Polydisc, 2002)
Yeesh. Tepid, dispiriting re-recordings of some old brega ("tacky") pop songs. Diniz sounds very old and tired on these recordings; the musical accompaniment is fairly uninspired. Look for the 1970s originals instead, if you must.

Paulo Diniz & Juliana Diniz "Serie Identidade" (EMI, 2002)

Paulo Diniz "Colecao Talento" (EMI, 2004)


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