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Gereba portrait Brazilian songwriter Gereba was originally in the early '70s tropicalia band Bendego, which collaborated with Gilberto Gil, Rogerio Duprat, Walter Smetak and other luminaries of the Tropicalia scene. Bendego's first lineup also included keyboard player Vermelho and drummer Hely Rodrigues who later joined with Flavio Venturini to form the prog-pop band 14 Bis. The new lineup of Bendego continued for over a decade, with Gereba "going solo" in the 1990s, after the group officially disbanded. Here's a quick look at their work...


Bendego "Gereba" (Phonogram, 1973)
Nice stuff from the heady days when Bahian pop was pivoting from the wildly experimental tropicalia style into the modern MPB era of the early '70s. This album shows a variety of influences, starting with the mellow samba-inflected balladry of Chico Buarque to the more uptempo approach of Joao Bosco, and gradually shifts into more challenging psychedelic folk, reminiscent of Gilberto Gil's rambling, spaced-out acoustic folk, or that of newcomers like Alceu Valenca and his folk-freak cadre. Although the band was originally named after the principal songwriter, Gereba, they flipped things around and became Bendego, after the title of one of his songs. A very interesting album that's pleasantly representative of its times.

Bendego "Onde O Olhar Nao Mira" (Continental, 1976)
(Produced by Wilson Miranda & Jose Milton)

A fascinating shift in direction, towards almost pure soft-pop, similar to bands such as Almondegas or Boca Livre (or America and Poco, for a North American frame of reference): plenty of wispy, folk-inflected melodies, with light vocal harmonies and inoffensive, minimal musical backing. There are a few hints of mildly proggy experimentation, but nothing like their debut, really just the faintest echo of their hippiedelic tropicalia roots. The comparison to Alceu Valenca holds true: they pivoted towards straight pop with a little bit of rock, and on this particular album settled into a pretty bland, middle-of-the-road sound. Not really that exciting, sadly.

Bendego "Bendego" (CBS-Epic, 1979) (LP)
(Produced by Carlos Alberto Sion)

This album still has an AOR country-rock feel, but the songs are bouncier and have stronger hooks, as well as more prominent Brazilian touches -- regional rhythms, unusual percussion, etc. A much more interesting record than the '76 album, with a lighter, more humor-filled feel to it. Definitely worth a spin.

Bendego "Bendego" (Continental, 1981) (LP)

Bendego "La Nave Va" (3M, 1986)

Gereba & Tom Ze "Cantando Com A Plateia" (1990)

Gereba "Canudos" (CPC-UMES, 1997)

Gereba "Forro Da Baronesa" (CPC-UMES, 2000)

Gereba "Cancoes Que Vem Do Sol" (Paulus, 2001)

Gereba "Sertao" (Paulus, 2002)

Gereba "Dom Quixote Xote Xote" (Atracao, 2004)


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