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Paulo Vanzolini portrait Songwriter Paulo Vanzolini was one of Sao Paulo's best known samba musicians, putting a swank spin on the traditional samba-cancao sound. His songs were popular throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s (and later in revival versions, including several songs recorded by Maria Bethania). Vanzolini composed and recorded sparingly, but his music made a strong impression... Here's a quick look at his work...


Paulo Vanzolini "Por Ele Mesmo" (Eldorado , 1979)
A sweet acoustic set by Sao Paulo samba composer Paulo Vanzolini, a compatriot of Elton Medeiros, Paulinho Nogueira, Toquinho and others, and whose work was popular throughout the 1960s and '70s... This album opens a little on the sugary, lush side, but soon settles into a reserved, classy sound. Although there are several tribute albums from various sources, this is apparently the only album that Vanzolini released under his own name. Nice stuff!


Various Artists "PAULO VANZOLINI: ONZE SAMBAS & UME CAPOEIRA" (EMI-Discos Marcus Pereira, 1967)
(Produced by Toquinho)
A low-key tribute album, featuring two tracks by the up-and-coming Chico Buarque and one by his sister Cristina, as well as several other less well-known artists such as Claudia Morena, Mauricy Moura, Adauto Santos and Luiz Carlos Parana. Bossa nova guitarist Toquinho, who was Vanzolini's performing partner, was a co-producer and arranger of the record, and his guitar work is strung througout, along with a flautist (who isn't named in the liner notes -- maybe one of those Caymmi kids?) The overall vibe is mellow and sweet, with relaxed arrangements - not first-rate, but pretty nice nonetheless.

Carmen Costa & Paulo Marquez "Musica De Paulo Vanzolini" (Discos Marcus Pereira, 1974)
A nice tribute album by samba diva Carmen Costa, along with the lesser-known crooner Paulo Marquez. There are some duets as well as solo performances by each artist. His vocals are much stronger, and in the second half of the album he gets into some really sweet acoustic sambas, replete with flute and cavaquinho. Most of the record, though, is of lush MPB arrangements, which are mostly fine though on occasion a rather goofy, cheap-sounding electric keyboard chimes in, sounding at odds with the rest of the classy orchestrations. Nice stuff overall, though: Vanzolini was a very robust and hearty composer, and these are strong renditions of his work, particularly the solo stuff by

Various Artists "ANTOLOGIA DE PAULO VANZOLINI" (Biscoito Fino, 2005)
A 4-CD set...


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