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Cyro Monteiro portrait Samba-cancao old-timer Cyro Monteiro soldiered on into the bossa nova era, and did so with considerable success. A lively, robust performer, Monteiro sang with a swinging beat, interpreting and immortalizing dozens of classic songs. Here's a quick look at his work...


Cyro Monteiro/Aracy De Almeida "Sambistas De Fato" (Revivendo)
A delightful collection of prime oldies by two great romantic samba cancao vocalists, whose work is now forgotten in the misty past of nostalgia. Evenly split between the two of them, with ten tracks apiece, this disc covers the years 1935-1948, and is chock full of wonderfully melodic choro tinged material. Monteiro's 1945 novelty hit, "Boogie Woogie Na Favela," is a nice crossover tune, although the rest of the album is packed with straight-ahead samba. Great stuff -- highly recommended!

Cyro Monteiro "Mestre Do Samba" (BMG-RCA Brasil, 2004)
Prime material from 1934-1947, old-school samba-cancao at its finest, including an elegant, lively 1944 hit version of "Falsa Baiana." Monteiro's vocals are smooth and understated, yet energetic and compelling, the very picture of soulfulness and economy, and the bands behind him are uniformly top-notch. This is a very good collection, only sixteen songs, but all of them are great, and the sound quality if top notch. A must-have for fans of pre-bossa nova Brazilian pop.

Cyro Monteiro "Senhor Samba" (CBS, 1961)
Monteiro's first full album in the LP era is swinging, jaunty, and super-fun. For a guy who'd already been singing professionally for nearly three decades, he sounds remarkably youthful and vibrant.

Cyro Monteiro "Senhor Samba, v.2" (CBS, 1962)

Cyro Monteiro "Alo, Alo, Jovens" (Continental)

Cyro Monteiro & Dilermando Pinheiro "Telecoteco, Opus No. 1" (Odeon, 1966)
(Produced by Cyro Monteiro)

A live samba album, recorded (apparently) with backing by a group that included Jacob do Bandolim and Dino Sete Cordas... The disc consists of two long melodies, covering a wide swath of samba-cancao and bossa nova compositions, with Monteiro and Pinheiro shooting the breeze, cracking jokes, singing whatever songs come to mind, and completely wowing the appreciative audience members, who were all totally winning to sing along at the drop of a hat. A fascinating glimpse into the long-gone world of the old-school samba-cancao era.

Cyro Monteiro "De Vinicius E Baden" (Elenco, 1966)
The fabled samba crooner takes on the work of bossa poet and guitar genius Baden Powell... This is one of the nicer and more atypical of the mid-'60s Elenco releases, as producer Aloysio Oliveira soft-pedals the modern production and lets an old star just do his stuff. Although Monteiro is singing their songs, this doesn't sound that much like the eerie, transcendent music being made by the bossa crowd... But it's still pretty cool!

Cyro Monteiro & Elizeth Cardoso "A Bossa Eterna De Elizeth E Cyro" (Copacabana, 1966)

Cyro Monteiro/Clementina De Jesus/Nora Ney "Mudando De Converso" (Imperial, 1968)

Cyro Monteiro & Elizeth Cardoso "A Bossa Eterna De Elizeth E Cyro, v.2" (Copacabana, 1969)

Cyro Monteiro "Meu Samba, Meu Vida" (Copacabana, 1969)

Cyro Monteiro "Alo Jovens: 'Tio' Cyro Monteiro Canta Sambas Dos Sobrinhos" (Continental, 1970)

Cyro Monteiro & Jorge Veiga "De Leve" (RCA Vik, 1971)


Cyro Monteiro "Serie Raizes Do Samba" (EMI, 2000)
An interesting overview of Monteiro's career, mainly focussed on his 1960s comeback. This kicks off with several live tracks from a 1968 album called Mudando De Conversa, (which also featured performances from Clementina De Jesus and Nora Ney, as well as the Conjunto Rosa De Ouro, who I believe are backing Montiero here...) There's an all-too brief dip back into Monteiro's early years, with a 1937 recording of "Perdoa," followed by some more live material and later recordings from the late 1960s, including some of his duets with Elizeth Cardoso. The live tracks, in particular, show how fervently the Brazilian audiences still greeted this old samba-cancao warhorse.


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