Jards Macale established himself as a songwriter, performer and producer in the tumultuous era of the late 1960s and early '70s, when Brazil's lurch towards military dictatorship produced a powerful countercultural backlash... Though he wasn't a household name, Macale was in the thick of it, performing in the politically charged Opinao stage show, then helping craft key albums for the stars of the tropicalia movement: Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, and Caetano Veloso among others. His own albums reflected the wildly eclectic spirit of tropicalia and the classic '70s MPB scene -- here's a quick look at his work.
Jards Macale "So Morto" (EP) (1970)
I haven't heard this one, but apparently progster pianist Ze Rodrix and percussionist Nana Vasconcelos were among those backing Macale on this "compacto duplo" (double 7") which marked his emergence from the song festival competitions...
Jards Macale "Jards Macale" (Phonogram, 1972)
Very cool. If you enjoy the classic "tropicalia" albums of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, particularly the ones with a more acoustic sound, you'll definitely want to check this one out. Before recording this album, Macale had just been hanging out with Veloso in his London exile, and wen he returned to Brazil he was carrying the tropicalia torch high, not merely doing the style justice, but innovating and creating new material that artists such as Gal Costa would embrace and record for years to come. He mainly plays acoustic, and goes off on blues-based improvisations that are unlike almost anything else in Brazilian music at the time; the opening track includes a rambling, rambunctious solo that flits from Doc Watson-esque licks to John Renborn-ish jazziness and demonstrates Macale mastery of a variety of North American styles. Perhaps the best-known song on here is "Mal Secreto," which Costa memorably covered the year before, on her A Todo Vapor live album -- Macale's version is calmer and distinctive, a nice counterpoint. Indeed, his bright personality comes through on this giddy, defiant debut -- definitely a record you'll want to check out.
Jards Macale "Aprender A Nadar" (Phonogram, 1974)
(Arranged by Wagner Tiso)
Branching out from the scappy guerrilla tactics of his acoustic debut, Macale parades through a variety of styles, opening with a Rogerio Duprat-ish musique concrete arty audio montage, easing into a bossa-flavored (but still artsy and arch) medley, a few orchestral bossa numbers and a rollicking, uptempo version of "Anjo Exterminado" (famously recorded by Maria Bethania) played here like one of those propulsive jazz tunes by a bossa trio of the early '60s. Even wilder is his glitzy, Cuban-styed rendition of Gordurinha's "Mambo Da Cantareira," which again draws on musical styles that were outside the Brazilian mainstream -- a fun song and an album highlight. Of course, this is all tinted with an ironic tone that tugs at the listener, but Macale is sincere enough that he doesn't pull you all the way out of the songs the way the old Os Mutantes albums did, for example. And again, his affinities for Veloso and Gil are apparent, especially on the softer songs. A far-ranging and pleasantly challenging record, and a satisfying one as well... Check it out!
Jards Macale "Contrastes" (Som Livre, 1977)
Jards Macale "Quatro Batutas E Um Coringa" (Continental, 1984)
Jards Macale & Dalva Torres "Pecam Bis" (Atracao, 1988)
A tribute to Ismael Silva...
Jards Macale "Let's Play That" (The Rock Company, 1994)
Jards Macale "O Que Eu Faco E Musica" (Atracao, 1998)
Jards Macale "Macale Canta Moreira" (Lua Discos, 2001)
A tribute to Moreira Da Silva...
Jards Macale "Amor, Ordem & Progresso" (Lua Discos, 2003)
Jards Macale/Various Artists "Real Grandeza" (Biscoito Fino, 2005)
Jards Macale "Macao" (Biscoito Fino, 2008)
Jards Macale "Jards" (Biscoito Fino, 2011)
Zeze Motta "Negra Melodia: As Cancoes De Jards Macale E Luiz Melodia" (Tratore, 2011)
Main Brazil Index