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Lyrio Panicali portrait Bandleader and arranger Lyrio Panicali (1906-1984) was one of the main record producers of the so-called "blue Brazil" period of the 1960s and '70s, transferring the cool suavity of bossa nova and the cosmopolitan jazz experimentalism of MPB into the more reserved world of Brazilian orchestral pop. He also recorded some stuff under his own name, as well as producing or arranging countless albums with the biggest stars of the Brazilian pop landscape. Here's a quick look at his work...


Lyrio Panicali & Humberto Teixeira "The Sound Of Brazil" (Columbia)
This is an album featuring the music of baiao composer Humberto Teixeira, with Lyrio Panicali and his orchestra credited as the backing band. Apparently is was released separately under each of their names, in this version as well as "Em Varios Ritmos," under Teixeira's name. Anyone know what year this came out? I'm guessing 1956? '58? And does Teixeira actually perform on here?

Lyrio Panicali "Violinos Do Ceu" (Columbia, 1960)
Horrendously cheesy, unrepentantly schmaltzy pop-orchestral instrumentals, juxtaposing a swooping string section with some light Brazilian percussion, though as often as not, the violins are simply framed in an outright easy-listening pop context. I really can't say much favorable to say about this one: none of the silliness or perky pop of his later albums (reviewed below) is to be found here. This is music that's so drippy and moist, it would make even Mantovani cringe a little. If you really love un-ironic instrumental pop cheese, by all means, track this one down... But if not, you can skip it.

Lyrio Panicali "Nova Dimensao" (EMI-Odeon, 1964) (LP)
This is a big, bold set of silly-sounding pop-orchestral instrumentals. Includes several over-the-top renditions of then-current bossa nova classics such as "Desafinado" and "Lobo Bobo." Fun for lounge/kitsch value, I suppose, 'tho it's not really my cup of tea.

Lyrio Panicali "Panicali Italiano" (EMI-Odeon, 1966)

Lyrio Panicali "Faz Samba Em 2 Tempos" (Codil Ritmos, 1967)
A sprightly all-instrumental album with blends samba, choro and ballroom dance music. The repertoire includes sambas by Noel Rosa and Dorival Caymmi, as well as more modern compositions by Roberto Menescal and Marcos Valle. few songs are goofy or unwieldy, but mostly it's actually surprisingly fun. The band includes a fabulous flute player, Waldyr Brito, whose solos are consistently joyful and bright -- a nice record for loungecore enthusiasts, as well as fans of more traditional Brazilian music.

Lyrio Panicali "Brazil, New Dimensions In Sound" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)
This mostly-instrumental album is noteworthy for two bossa nova standards sung by future samba queen Clara Nunes, here still an aspiring singer, soon to become the grand diva of the dynamic 1970's pagode samba revival. Nunes sings "A Felicidade" and "Insensatez" in a rather stuffy, husky voice; cornball crooner Silvio Cesar also performs on a couple of tracks. The arrangements are mostly pretty drippy, with intrusive strings that overwhelm all else, and are fairly irritating. Again, this kind of thing is not my cup of tea, but folks with a higher tolerance for cheesy listening might think it's the bee's knees.

Lyrio Panicali "...E O Sucessos" (EMI-Odeon, 1968)

Lyrio Panicali "...E A Juventude" (EMI-Odeon)

Lyrio Panicali "...E O Sucessos, v.2" (EMI-Odeon)

Lyrio Panicali "Panicali E As Novelas" (EMI-Odeon, 1969)
Super-schmaltzy orchestral instrumentals, with themes take, I believe from various films. The melodic lead is generally by a large string section, worthy of Melanchrino. Easy listening buffs will find this of interest; others might not.

Lyrio Panicali "A Lira Do Lyrio: No Tempo Dos Bons Tempos" (Fontana) (LP)

Lyrio Panicali "Bossa Nova 70" (MFP, 1970)
A swinging, big-band/orchestral pop set with a Doc Severensin-meets-Stan Getz kind of feel... The album's first half has more distinct Brazilian undercurrents, while the last half just goes straight small-combo jazz, including some standard-issue saxophone solos. Not very distinctive, but a decent late-vintage big-band jazz album. The drummer, in particular, was given a lot of room in the mix, and seems like more or less the leader of the band... Anyone know who played on this one?

Lyrio Panicali "O Melhor Musica Romantica Do Cinema" (CBS/Tropicana, 1975)
Most of these songs were not contemporary to the times: themes include "Maria" from West Side Story, "Moon River," "September Song" and "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing."


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