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Ed Lincoln portrait A prolific session player in the 1950s and early '60s, Ed Lincoln played many instruments, but made his mark as an electric organ virtuoso and as a bridge between the pre-bossa nova "radio singer" epoch (where he backed ballad crooner Dick Farney) and the swinging "balanco"/"samba rock" styles of a later era. Lincoln was a much funkier, groove-oriented organist than contemporaries such as Walter Wanderley, and collaborated with artists such as Orlandivo and Silvio Cesar, as well as jazz musicians like Durival Ferreira, who he worked with in nightclubs in the late '50s and early '60s. Here's a quick look at his solo work; eagle-eyed liner note readers can also spot him playing on numerous records over several decades...


Ed Lincoln "Ed Lincoln" (Musidisc, 1961)(?)
I tried pinpointing the year this came out, and most sources are a bit fuzzy... A lot of people confuse this disc with another album called "Ed Lincoln" that came out in '68... I'm guessing it came out earlier... but I really don't know. Anyway, it's kind of a cool record. I'd expected it to be way cheesier than it is, and when I finally broke down and picked it up, I was really surprised by what it sounded like. It's... um... an odd record. Lincoln was an organist who was a popular session player and composer, whose closest working partnership was with the singer known as Orlandivo (who co-composes and performs on many of these songs). Some of this is goofy, teen-oriented dance music, some of it is dit-dit-ditty electric organ stuff, in the style of Walter Wanderley, and some of it coasts into chirpy sunshine pop like they were making up in Los Angeles around the same time. There are also a few more challenging, avant-y moments, like on the off-kilter "Eu Nao Vou Mais." It's an odd little record, one I think I'll hang onto for a while...

Ed Lincoln "A Volta" (Musidisc, 1964)

Ed Lincoln/Olann Divo/Nilo Sergio "Ed Lincoln/Olann Divo/Nilo Sergio" (Musidisc, 1966)
Another perky Ed Lincoln/Orlandivo collaboration... Some of it is pure kitsch (including several dreadful, roller-rinky organ instrumentals, fit for Mantovani) but other songs are nice, such as the youthful "Zezinho" and "Brincando De Samba" and the occasional straightforward bossa ballad, such as Orlandivo's "Saudade, Solidao Pra Mim." This kind of flirts with the edges of the jovem guarda teen scene, but is also shamelessly rooted in the orchestral-instrumental pop world. A mixed bag - some of it's embarrassing to listen to, some of it's quite nice.

Ed Lincoln "Ed Lincoln" (Savoya, 1968)
Although this is a palpably kitschy album, packed with the sort of perky, prefab tropical-exploitation material that smacks of a strictly-for-tourists quicky disc, there's still some powerful musicianship here, even if it is in the service of roller-rink pop. The rhythm and percussion on the album's opener, "Zum Zum Zum," belies the sun-drenched vapidity of the song itself... Later in the album there are some slower tunes that seem more like real musical efforts, but on the whole this is a pretty effervescent set -- like Walter Wanderley in parts, though more lightweight. Still, it's a noce glimpse back at one of Brazilian pop's more compelling characters, with backing that includes Linoln's pal, Orlandivo, and some serious jazz players such as bassist Luiz Chaves and Durival Ferreira. It's really nothing all that special, but if you like sunshine pop and easy listening, it's certainly worth checking out.

Ed Lincoln "Seu Piano & Orgao Espetacular" (Musidisc, 1969)

Ed Lincoln "Orgao Espetacular" (Masterpiece, 1969)

Ed Lincoln "Ed Lincoln" (Musidisc, 1969)

Ed Lincoln "Orgao E Piano Eletrico" (CID, 1971)
A giddy mix of perky sunshine pop and kitschy easy-listening, with a light dose of funky-fusiony groove in there as well. There are a couple of vocal songs I actually liked ("Saci Perere," "Meu Barato") and the instrumental track "As Gaviotas" has kind of a classic feel to it. Lincoln and his crew seemed to be having fun here -- there are some cute (and innovative) keyboard tones, although overall this isn't my cup of tea. If you're into retro-exotica kitsch, though, I imagine this would be a record to search out.

Ed Lincoln "Novo Toque" (Polygram-Elenco, 1989)


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