Thursday, 30 August 2018

Tom Zé ‎– Tom Zé (1970)

Style: Bossanova, MPB, Acoustic, Funk, Psychedelic
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mr Bongo, RGE Discos

A1 .   La Vem A Onda
A2 .   Guindaste A Rigor
A3.   Distancia
A4.   Dulcineia Popular Brasileira
A5 .  Qualquer Bobagem
A6 .  O Riso E A Faca
B1.   Jimmy, Renda-Se
B2.   Me Da, Me Dê, Me Diz
B3.   Passageiro
B4.   Escolinhas De Robô
B5.   Jeitinho Dela
B6.   A Gravata

Producer – João Araujo

Tom Zé’s second album — and the second of three self-titled albums in a row — isn’t always as highly regarded as his first, but it shows him more versatile as a vocalist.  There are some funky rock riffs with more bass and guitar, without the heavy organ of his debut.  There are more ornate arrangements, with lush strings and horns.  The songwriting is, perhaps, less dripping with irony, but the irony and starkly earnest shock humor is still present.  There are plenty of excellent compositions here.   
In an interview, Zé described this time and album as fraught with personal crisis: 
“I was in a kind of crisis because I knew at that time that I didn’t want to do the popular music from my first album again. At the same time I didn’t know what to do and at the same time, João, the guy who freed me from my contract . . . was putting pressure on me to work and do more music. To me, it’s a crisis album and I don’t like to listen to it very often.” 
The sorts of crises that he’s referring to weren’t just personal.  This was still a turbulent time in Brazil.  In his memoir Tropical Truth: A Story of Music & Revolution in Brazil (2002), fellow tropicalista Caetano Veloso described the era this way: 
“In 1964, the military took power, motivated by the need to perpetuate those disparities [making Brazil the country with the greatest social and economic disparity in the world] that have proven to be the only way to make the Brazilian economy work (badly, needless to say) and, in the international arena, to defend the free market from the threat of the communist bloc (another American front of the Cold War).  Students were either leftist or they would keep their mouths shut.  Within the family or among one’s circle of friends, there was no possibility of disagreeing with a socialist ideology.  The Right existed only to serve vested or unspeakable interests.  Thus, the rallies ‘With God and for Freedom’ organized by the ‘Catholic ladies’ in support of the military coup appeared to us as the cynical, hypocritical gestures of evil people. *** we saw the coup simply as a decision to halt the redress of the horrible social inequities in Brazil and, simultaneously, to sustain North American supremacy in the hemisphere.” 
When Veloso and Gilberto Gil were jailed in 1969, Tom Zé took over hosting the TV Tupi show Divino, Maravilhoso for a few episodes. 
This album is still about the manifesto of tropicalismo.  There is the famous line Dustin Hoffman delivers in the film The Graduate (1967); when asked what he’s doing, he responds, “Drifting.”  Zé is drifting a bit here, but in the best possible way.  He wonderfully evokes a kind of unsatisfied boredom and uncertainty, matched with curiosity and open-mindedness.  There are very poppy tunes, verging on the commercial (“Passageiro,” “Jeitinho dela”).  And there are ballads (“O riso e a faco,” “Me dá, me dê, me diz”).  But there is more than that too.  “Jymmy Rende-se” has a tight groove.  The lyrics are playful nonsense,  but that kind of sums up the best of what the album as a whole has to offer.  Some of the other upbeat numbers (“Guindaste a rigor,” “Escolinha de robô”) are quite good too. And this isn’t all just variations on conventional pop/rock forms — some of this stuff is dissonant and weird too (“Qualquer bobagem”). 
This might not be Zé’s most highly regarded album, but it’s still up there with his best.  Though it isn’t like he’s ever really made a bad album in a decades-long career.
Syd Fablo / Rock Salted 

Tom Zé ‎– Tom Zé (1968)

Style: MPB
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mr Bongo, Rozenblit

A1.   São São Paulo
A2.   Curso Intensivo De Boas Maneiras
A3.   Glória
A4.   Namorinho De Portão
A5.   Catecismo, Creme Dental E Eu
A6.   Camelô
B1.   Não Buzine Que Eu Estou Paquerando
B2.   Profissão De Ladrão
B3.   Sem Entrada E Mais Nada
B4.   Parque Industrial
B5.   Quero Sambar Meu Bem
B6.   Sabor De Burrice

Producer – João Araújo
Written-By – Tom Zé

His first, and arguably best album from the great Rozenblit catalogue lovingly restored in its original format on limited LP and CD, re-mastered from the original Rozenblit master tapes. 
In 1968 Tom Zé; moved from Salvador Bahia to Sao Paulo where he hung out and wrote with his friends Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. Although initially part of theTropicalia movement, Zé was so independent he was determined to forge his own musical path. He started by recording Grande Liquidacao, a hyperactive pop album backed up by two incredible psychedelic rockbands: Os Brazoes and Os Versateis. 
Tom Zé's material on this album includes traditional Brazilian Tropicalia laced with crazy vocal melodies and samples a multitude of genres from funk to psychedelic rock and bossa nova creating in the process a sort of unheard pop exotica. This is especially apparent on the track “Gloria” with its changing tempos, bubbling instrumentation and off-the-wall harmonies. The pace of the album, considering it was the 60’s, is brutal so Zé takes a break between songs to address the listener before resuming his zigzag trajectory. The album also includes the fantastic “Parque Industrial” which was later recorded by Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso on the Tropicalia: Panis et Circenses album. 
Tom Zé was also arguably the creator of the first sampler. In the mid 1980's David Byrne pulled one of his albums out of the samba section of a Rio de Janeiro record store which led him to bringing Zé to worldwide attention by releasing numerous albums on the Luaka Bop label.
Mr. Bongo