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Zeca Pagodinho has been a stalwart of the modern acoustic samba raiz style, a throwback to the mostly-acoustic pagode style of the early 1970s.... In the early '80s, when he was tapped by Beth Carvalho as one of her favorite songwriters and guest performers. He has since kept the old-school pagode tradition alive, crafting lively, traditionally-oriented modern sambas... Here's a quick look at some of his work...


Zeca Pagodinho "Zeca Pagodinho" (RGE, 1986)

Zeca Pagodinho "Patota De Cosme" (RGE, 1987)
Relentlessly upbeat sambas on the acoustic side of the pagode style. Cheerful, and almost uniformly fast-paced, this can seem a little too manic, but the swaying rhythms and melodies are pretty irresistible. And the slower numbers are pretty heavenly.

Zeca Pagodinho "Jeito Moleque" (RGE, 1988)
(Produced by Miguel Plopschi)

Another excellent album, full of sweet, '70s-style pagode samba, with acoustic instruments subtly buoyed by light synthesizers, and a lilting vocal chorus. Pagodinho varies the tempo here, delving into softer, medium-tempo tunes, along with a few faster songs. It's nice. I have to admit, reviewing his record is sort of like reviewing Martinho Da Vila or Paulinho Da Viola: it all sounds great, though there isn't much stylistic variety to differentiate one record from another... At least not if they're doing things right, which Pagodinho definitely is on this deeply satisfying disc. Recommended!

Zeca Pagodinho "Boemio Feliz" (BMG-RCA, 1989)
Although several songs -- especially at the album's start -- are lightly tarted up with modernizing touches like synthesizers and tinkly keyboards, the intrusions are mostly pretty mild. Overall, this is another square-on, old-school pagode album... Not mind-blowing or transcendant, but still pretty nice. Recommended.

Zeca Pagodinho "Mania Da Gente" (BMG-Ariola, 1990)
(Produced by Miguel Plopschi)

Another fine album... As with Zeca's other work, this is by-the-numbers, but quite pleasant. Less synth-y than his previous album, this disc sticks pretty closely to the old acoustic-samba formula of the classic, early-'70s samba style. Bandolim player Mauro Diniz helps arrange a couple of tunes; Arlindo Cruz plays banjo throughout.

Zeca Pagodinho "Pixote" (BMG-Ariola, 1991)
(Produced by Miguel Plopschi)

Nice, but very tame. The album starts out with a slow, pop-flavored number, and only reluctantly returns back to the loping acoustic samba style. Even then, it's very by-the-numbers, and not terribly exciting. Pleasant enough, but it probably won't rock your world or anything.

Zeca Pagodinho "Alo, Mundo!" (BMG-Ariola, 1993)

Zeca Pagodinho "Um Dos Poetas Do Samba" (BMG-RCA, 1994)
(Produced by Miguel Plopschi)

More great stuff. Solid samba, with cheerful, uptempo acoustic arrangements and standard instrumentation -- cavaquinho, 7-string guitar, cuica, etc. -- and plenty of bright, buoyant melodies. True, it does all sound the same after a while... Fortunately for me, though, I like that sound a lot. Recommended? Yes, absolutely!

Zeca Pagodinho "Samba Pras Mocas" (Polydor, 1995)

Zeca Pagodinho "Deixa Clarear" (Mercury-PolyGram, 1996)
A bit longer in the tooth, a bit mellower and with a huskier voice, but still solid and soulful. His poppier pagode stylings are nicely paired up with more traditional percussion, and he is joined on several tunes by the samba traditionalist ensemble, Velha-Guarda de Portela. There are only mild hints here of the yuckiness which is to be found in Brazilian MPB; on the whole, this is quite nice.

Zeca Pagodinho "Hoje E Dia Das Festas" (Polygram, 1997)

Zeca Pagodinho "Zeca Pagodinho" (Polygram, 1998)

Zeca Pagodinho "Zeca Pagodinho Ao Vivo" (Universal, 1999)

Zeca Pagodinho "Juras De Amor" (Mercury-Universal, 2000)
Nicely constructed, mellow, kinda by-the-numbers. Better on the uptempo numbers, but on the whole a fairly slow, even low-energy album. It's okay, but he's done better.

Zeca Pagodinho "Agua Da Minha Sede" (Universal, 2000)

Zeca Pagodinho "Zeca Pagodinho Apresenta Quintal Do Pagodinho" (Universal, 2001)

Zeca Pagodinho "Participacao Especial" (Mercury-Universal, 2002)
An all-star cast joins Zeca in concert and in the studio for this guest artist lovefest, from samba old-timers such as Ivone Lara, Beth Carvalho and Almir Guineto and MPB stars like Caetano Veloso and more modern pop stars like Exaltasamba and Zeca Baleiro... I prefer the handful of songs that play it relatively traditional... most, though, are a little on the slick side. This album's OK, but it didn't really knock my socks off.

Zeca Pagodinho "Deixa A Vida Me Levar" (Universal, 2002)

Zeca Pagodinho "Acustico MTV" (Universal, 2003)

Zeca Pagodinho "Acustico MTV" (Universal, 2003) (DVD)

Zeca Pagodinho "A Vera" (Universal-Mercury, 2005)

Zeca Pagodinho "Acustico MTV, v.2: Gafieira" (Universal, 2006)

Zeca Pagodinho "Acustico MTV, v.2: Gafieira" (Universal, 2006) (DVD)

Zeca Pagodinho "Uma Prova De Amor" (Universal, 2009)

Zeca Pagodinho "Uma Prova De Amor: Ao Vivo" (Universal, 2009)

Zeca Pagodinho "For Real" (Universal, 2009)
This is the A Vera album, re-released for a European market. Same songs, though, still sung in Portuguese.

Zeca Pagodinho "Ao Vivo Com Os Amigos" (Universal, 2011)
With Jorge Aragao, Jorge Ben, Beth Carvalho, Martinho Da Vila, Dudu Nobre, and many other fabled samba heavyweights... Bet it's fun!


Zeca Pagodinho "Novo Millennium" (Universal-Mercury, 2005)

Zeca Pagodinho "Perolas" (Som Livre, 2002)

Zeca Pagodinho "Perfil" (Universal, 2004)

Zeca Pagodinho "A Arte De Zeca Pagodinho" (Universal, 2005)

Zeca Pagodinho "Duetos" (Som Livre)

Zeca Pagodinho "Raridades" (Som Livre, 2007)


Mania De Choro E Outros Babados "Interpretam Zeca Pagodinho" (Brazilmusica, 2008)


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