Tonight I attended a samba concert, for a change. It was an interesting change of pace to be in a theater instead of a smoke-filled and noisy bar, or boteco, as small, informal joints are usually called here in Rio. The audience too, was quite docile. Again a nice change of pace from the raucousness of a typical samba. The show featured the São Paulo group Terreiro Grande with Cristina Buarque (yes, she is related to you-know-who). It is an unusual pairing, or so it might seem, to have an avid carioca and dedicated samba historian with an all paulista group. But, I think most of us samba researchers have heard enough of the old São Paulo vs. Rio debate...
Anyways, these guys Terreiro Grande pay serious tribute to old time sambas, many long forgotten gems by the forefathers of the genre. With Cristina, a hardcore portelense, they paid special tribute to the founding members of the Portela samba school. At the end of the set, they filed into the audience and made their way to the lobby, where they continued to jam, but finally in the standard roda format.
In the audience was none other than Nelson Sargento and Monarco, the former of Mangueira, and the latter of Portela. I thought it was a little strange that Mestre Nelson went almost unnoticed while Monarco received some fanfare from the crowd. Then again, Nelson Sargento is slow-moving and he stayed out of the spotlight, probably on purpose. Actually, I think most of the audience probably wouldn't have known one from the other... When the crowd followed the group into the lobby and received Monarco, Nelson was quietly (and slowly) making his way to the exit. So I had to choose which one I would follow to try and get an interview. I chose Nelson since no one was paying him much mind and I thought he would appreciate that I noticed him. So I caught up with him and nervously introduced myself. He was nice, but seemed tired and his companion, probably a music partner or manager, helped with allowing me to give him my phone number. They said they would contact me sometime soon...
When I returned to the roda thinking I could still catch Monarco, he was gone! Oh well. At least I made contact with Cristina and the guys from Terreiro...
So I thought I would share some music from some of these giants of the genre that I was fortunate to meet tonight. First, a song written by Nelson Sargento and perfomed by Cristina Buarque:
"Ficará comigo" (Nelson Sargento)
from the 1990 (or is it 1994?) album Resgate
photo by Rosano Mauro
Next, we have one from Mestre Nelson himself. It is quite fun to hear Nelson singing about a love triangle... He sings: "One dominates me, the other fascinates me, but they both have my heart..."
from the 1998 album Sonho de um Sambista
Finally, we have one from Monarco's 1976 debut (?) self-titled album. I love the album cover. I also love the killer repique de anél that kicks off the track. It is the legendary Doutor that I have talked so much about and who has partly inspired the name of the blog. You can read that post about him here. You can also read about Monarco and the Velha Guarda da Portela from an older post here.
"Amor verdadeiro" by Monarco
*Opening photo was taken from a webpage with no photographer credits!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Posted by beto dotô at 7:39 PM