Quinteto Violado was one of the most dynamic and inventive Brazilian bands of the 1970s, delving deep into various regional musical styles, melding them with jazz, acoustic folk, and the eclectic spirit of the tropicalia and MPB scenes. The band's early albums are hallmarks of 'Seventies experimentalism and exuberance. Here's a quick look at their work...
Quinteto Violado "Quinteto Violado" (Philips, 1972)
A delicious, delightfully eclectic acoustic album, a mixture of folk-rock and regional (and indigenous) Brazilian styles... Side One starts off with several melodically rich tunes; midway through the passionately strummed guitar gets a little frantic, and on songs like "Reflexo" and "Imagens Do Recife" the band sounds a little frantic and strained... They quickly recover their equilibrium and the rest of the record is sprinkled with groovy tunes, as cool and cross-culturally clever as all the stuff the tropicalistas were putting out around the same time. Definitely recommended!
Quinteto Violado "Berra-Boi" (Phonogram, 1973) (LP)
(Produced by Roberto Santana)
Another wildly inventive, energetic album, mixing regional Brazilian music (and countless unusual instruments!) with elements of folk, free jazz, and a dash and Brazilian styles such as frevo and maracatu, in a manic mix that's anchored by percussion, flute and guitar. There isn't necessarily an explicit "rock" influence, but the eclectic experimentalism of Duprat-style tropicalia is there, as well as a driving intensity and forceful propulsiveness that taps into the rock vibe of the time. It might be a little too intense for most listeners, but students of Brazilian music interested in how Amazonian and Northeastern music were integrated into the '70s mix, or even fans of Hermeto Pascoal or Caetano Veloso's more avant stuff might want to check this out.
Quinteto Violado "A Feira" (Phonogram, 1974) (LP)
Another ambitious, difficult album. This is just too manic and forceful for me, experimental and kooky though it may be. Includes covers of Gilberto Gil's "Procissao" and Caetano Veloso's "Ave Maria," literally picking up where the tropicalista superstars left off, and taking their work into an unusual new direction. But overall, this album is relentlessly fast-paced and a bit exhausting -- never a chance to catch our breath or reflect. Again, it's historically interesting, but probably inaccessible to most listeners. On this album in particular, they seem to be trying a little too hard.
Quinteto Violado "Folguedo" (Phonogram, 1975)
Quinteto Violado "Missa Do Vaqueiro" (Phonogram, 1976)
Quinteto Violado "Antologia Do Baiao" (Phonogram, 1977)
Quinteto Violado "Ate A Amazonia" (Phonogram, 1978)
Quinteto Violado "Pilogamia Do Baiao" (Polygram, 1979)
Quinteto Violado "O Rei E O Jardineiro -- Uma Opereta Infantil" (Canto, 1980)
Quinteto Violado "Desafio" (QV, 1981)
I've occasionally had to wrestle a bit to appreciate this folk-ish choro ensemble. They are, I suppose, Brazil's equivalent of the Chilean groups such as Inti Illimani, who keep folk traditions alive, but perform them so precisely and delicately, that the result feels a bit effete. Also, they skirt around similarly iffy pop territory... this album is mainly acoustic, typical of their style, and not onerous in any way. Worth checking out.
Quinteto Violado "Noticias Do Brazil" (RGE, 1982)
Here they veer from their acoustic roots and give full reign to their poppish impulses -- the results are fairly yuckky. Disjointed folk-pop, including a couple of Milton Nascimento songs, and several torturous experimental vocal turns. Nothing to write home about, really.
Quinteto Violado "Coisas Que Lua Canta" (Continental, 1983)
Quinteto Violado "Enquanto A Chaleira Nao Chia" (RCA-Camden, 1985) (LP)
(Produced by Miguel Plopschi)
Another nice, folksy album, with nice melodies draped in standard-issue arrangements, a little too safe and smooth-sounding, perhaps, but still musically rich. Forro legend Luiz Gonzaga sits in on one track, a medley of his songs, "Fogueira De Sao Joao/Lorota Boa," and the forro/baiao vibe continues on through the rest of the record, which also includes an appearance by accordionist Dominguinhos on one of his songs, "A Fe Do Lavrador." (By the way, the album's title, "Enquanto A Chaleira Nao Chia" comes from the first track on the album and is only listed on the inner label, not the cover... Just in case you're wondering.)
Quinteto Violado "O Guarani" (Paralelo, 1986)
Quinteto Violado "Historia Do Brasil" (1987)
Quinteto Violado "Ilhas De Cabo Verde" (Mato, 1989)
Quinteto Violado "Kuire: O Concerto" (Polygram, 1989)
Quinteto Violado "Missa Do Vaqueiro" (Mato, 1991)
A re-recording, one would assume, of their 1977 album by the same name? With guest performer, Dom Helder Camara.
Quinteto Violado & Patricia Franca "Algaroba" (RGE, 1993)
Quinteto Violado "Criar E Recriar: A Musica De Fatima Maia" (Mato, 1994)
Quinteto Violado "Opera Do Bandoleiro" (1994)
Quinteto Violado "Retrospectiva Em 5 Movimentos" (Videolar, 1995)
Quinteto Violado "25 Anos Nao Sao 25 Dias" (Atracao, 1996)
Quinteto Violado "...Canta Geraldo Vandre" (Atracao, 1997)
Quinteto Violado "Farinha Do Mesmo Saco" (Atracao, 1999)
(Produced by Anjihno Filizola)
Jeez - I was pretty surprised by how outright "pop" this was... Although the band is pictured on the back cover holding all their acoustic instruments, the disc opens with a drekky pop-fusion number that seems straight out of the early 1970s jazz scene, with emphatic vocals that remind me of Tim Maia and the old Brazilian soul scene. Turns out the track is one of three Chico Science songs the band covers, and it paves the way for other contemporary pop excursions, with songs by rockers such as Fred 04 and Lenine, as well as more standard MPB composers such as Caetano Veloso and Djavan. While I suppose the band has to be credited for keeping up with the times, I still prefer their old stuff, the acoustic-regional-folk material. Those regional roots are still here, with manic forro and baiao rhythms and whatnot, but the pop stuff subsumes the traditional elements. Didn't work for me, really.
Quinteto Violado "...Canta Geraldo Vandre" (Atracao, 2002)
A tribute to songwriter and Brazilian cultural icon Geraldo Vandre...
Quinteto Violado "Visao Futurista Do Pasado" (Atracao, 2002)
Quinteto Violado "A Saga De Juca Tito" (Umes, 2005)
Quinteto Violado "Millennium" (Mercury-Universal, 1999)
A fine collection of their best material from the 1970s, when they were on the Philips label. A fun, freewheeling mix of indigenous Brazilian styles, acoustic rock and jazz, and Northeastern forro and baiao, a meeting ground between the folkloric and the fiesty... This is a well-selected set covering the best years of this innovative ensemble. Recommended!
Quinteto Violado "10 Anos: 1971-1981" (Gruezi, 2002)
Quinteto Violado "Raizes Nordestinas" (EMI, 2004)
Quinteto Violado "A Arte De..." (Universal, 2005)
Quinteto Violado "Para Sempre" (2007)
Main Brazil Index