The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

RPM Revisits Landmark Music of Brazil’s Milton Nascimento

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Milton NascimentoAs one of the leading lights of the Brazilian MPB movement (Música popular brasileira), singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento has been a creative force for nearly fifty years. Cherry Red’s RPM label has recently reissued two of the artist’s earliest, and most acclaimed, albums – 1969’s eponymous album and 1972’s Clube da Esquina (with Lô Borges) – in newly-remastered editions.

Milton Nascimento was actually the artist’s third album, following his 1967 debut and a 1968 set recorded in America by Creed Taylor for his fledgling CTI label. That album, Courage, featured arrangements from Brazil’s Eumir Deodato and many remakes of songs from Nascimento’s Brazilian debut, albeit recorded with the higher production values made possible in American studios. Quite an assemblage of talent supported Nascimento on Courage, from pianist Herbie Hancock to the young lyricist Paul Williams. His next album would prove just as remarkable.

In keeping with the style of MPB, one of the post-bossa nova idioms to arrive in Brazil, Milton Nascimento blended jazz, pop and rock textures. It was notable as Nascimento’s return to his home country in a time of great artistic oppression that saw other artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil exiled by the military dictatorship. Producer Milton Maranda of Odeon Records had also worked with Marcos Valle at the label, another envelope-pushing musician who built on the blocks of bossa nova to forge a new sound and style. The album also was the first to feature all new material, as Nascimento had tapped into his stockpile of songs for the first two LPs. As such, it was timely, and his most soulful and intimate work to date. One track came from the pen of bossa nova pioneer Dori Caymmi, but the other songs were all written by Nascimento and his close circle of friends including Fernando Brant and Marcio Borges. Luiz Eca (of the Tamba Trio) and saxophonist Paulo Moura contributed arrangements and orchestrations for a group of musicians including Toninho Horta on guitar, Ze Rodrix (organ and flute), Robertinho Silva (drums) and Novelli (bass).

There’s more after the jump!

Clube da EsquinaThe next album selected for reissue by RPM arrived in 1972, separated from Milton Nascimento by just one album (1970’s Milton). Clube da Esquina was a sprawling double album recorded with Lô Borges, a fellow singer, songwriter and guitarist. This landmark recording was made by Nascimento and Borges with their “corner club,” an artistic collective in the state of Minas Gerais. The album was intended as a tribute to the music of Minas Gerais and touched on numerous influences – from American progressive rock to the indigenous styles of Chile and Paraguay. Emphasizing vocals, Clube da Esquina was composed over six months at a beach house in Niteroi with friends from Nascimento’s early days, in which they actually met on a street corner in Belo Horizonte (the capital of Minas Gerais) to play together. Songs were provided by Nascimento, Fernando Brant, Lô and Marcio Borges, and Ronaldo Bastos, as well as some long-established writers like Monsueto Menezes and Ayrton Amorim. Core band members from the band O Som Imaginario (with whom Nascimento had successfully toured in 1970) including Tavito (guitar) and Wagner Tiso (organ/piano) appeared on Clube da Esquina, as well as Nelson Angelo (guitar/piano), Luiz Guedes (bass/percussion), Toninho Horta (guitar), Robertinho Horta and Rubinho (drums/percussion), Carrilhao (bass) and Nelsinho (percussion). Milton Miranda again produced, and in keeping with the spirit of the album, old friend Eumir Deodato orchestrated four songs. With its passionate songwriting and varied talents unified for a common cause, Clube da Esquina remains one of the most compelling and groundbreaking albums in Nascimento’s catalogue.

Both of RPM’s reissues have been remastered by Simon Murphy and feature new liner notes by Kieron Tyler incorporating new quotes by Milton Nascimento. You can find both of these MPB classics at the links below!

Milton Nascimento, Milton Nascimento (SMOFB 3592, 1969 – reissued RPM Retro 938, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Sentinela
  2. Rosa Do Ventre
  3. Pescaria (Canoeiro) / O Mar E Meu Chao
  4. Tarde
  5. Beco Do Mota
  6. Pai Grande
  7. Quatro Luas
  8. Sunset Marquis 333 Los Angeles
  9. Aqui, Oh!

Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges, Clube da Esquina (Odeon SMOAB 6005/6006, 1972 – reissued RPM Retro 937, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser (vocal: Nascimento)
  2. Cais (vocal: Nascimento)
  3. Trem Azul (vocal: Borges)
  4. Saides E Bandeiras No. 1 (vocal: Nascimento with Beto Guedes)
  5. Nuvem Cigana (vocal: Nascimento)
  6. Cravo e Canela (vocal: Nascimento and Borges)
  7. Dos Cruces (vocal: Nascimento)
  8. Um Girassol Da Cor De Seu Cabelo (vocal: Borges)
  9. Estrelas (vocal: Borges)
  10. Clube da Esquina No. 2 (vocal: Nascimento)
  11. Paisagem da Janela (vocal: Borges)
  12. Me Deixa Em Paz (vocal: Nascimento and Alaide Costa)
  13. Os Povos (vocal: Nascimento)
  14. Saidas E Bandeiras No. 2 (vocal: Nascimento with Guedes)
  15. Um Gosto De Sol (vocal: Nascimento)
  16. Pelo Amor De Deus (vocal: Nascimento)
  17. Lilia (vocal: Nascimento)
  18. Trem De Doido (vocal: Borges)
  19. Nada Sera Como Antes (vocal: Nascimento and Guedes)
  20. Ao Que Vai Nascer (vocal: Nascimento)

Written by Joe Marchese

October 30, 2014 at 10:24

2 Responses

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  1. I love each of these albums and they are worthy of circulation. It was “Clube De Esquina” which first placed me under the Nascimento spell. However, it’s curious to me why there are so many reissues of these particular titles? I count four in the last three years. Universal Japan is the latest with their really nice, super cheap, limited remastered version from this year (utilizing the excellent remastering from the Abbey Road studio update that MIlton oversaw in 2000). There are two other titles in the Universal Japan campaign that are worth securing — “Milton” and “Minas”, The RPM reissues spotlighted here came out last year. I would love to see some of the other 60s/70’s titles made available in the US like Milton’s 1967 debut “Milton Nascimento”, or “Milagre Dos Piexes”, or “Gerais”, or “Miltons”, and God forbid “Clube De Esquina 2”. These all have been hard to obtain but contain some of the most compelling music from Nascimento’s cannon. So enough with the retreads…


    October 30, 2014 at 11:40

    • Correction – the RPM reissues are from this year (but Clube is missing the track San Vincente)


      October 30, 2014 at 11:52

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