Antonio Adolfo & Leila Pinheiro – Music of Adolfo and Gaspar

Antonio Adolfo and Leila Pinheiro met in order to create, together, a very special album with his and Tibério Gaspar’s compositions. It was an old dream and, from that idea, Antonio and Leila started to meet, exchange ideas, rehearse, check the tones etc. Musical director and record arranger, Antonio and Leila chose the songs that seemed more current and, through the new versions, brought them a new air. “For me they were new songs, since there were no recent recordings”, commented Leila. “It was a gift to immerse myself in this wonderful work. “Vamos Partir Pro Mundo – The Music of Antonio Adolfo and Tibério Gaspar” took a year to complete and every detail was carefully worked out. Launched by the label Deck, the record reaches music applications and also on CD.

The opening track “Dono do Mundo” was originally created for the album “Brazil And Brazuka”, by Antonio Adolfo. Joe Davis, owner of England’s FarOut Records, commissioned his album in the 1970s, when MPB was bursting into the world and the pianist from Rio de Janeiro already with the prestige of his band A Brazuca. “I decided to invite Tibério (to compose with me) and it worked out very well: we were more mature, with more technique for the composition”, he explained. Another result from the time of A Brazuca, “Gloria, Glorinha” was written right after a show by A Brazuca in Espírito Santo. At the time when the after party was still a ‘stretched out in the nightclub’, the musicians were enchanted with girls from Minas Gerais who vacationed in the city of Guarapari and Glória, present that night, ended up being honored with the song. Originally recorded in a festive mood by the ensemble, the track was later performed by Claudette Soares and Doris Monteiro.

Originally composed for the film “Ascensão e Queda de Um Paquera” (1970), by Victor di Mello, “Cláudia” carries the whole atmosphere of a 1960s girl from Copacabana. The lyrics describe the atmosphere of the iconic beach at the time in combination with the music – originally “half bossa, half Burt Bacharah”. In their conversations, Antonio and Tibério always commented on how the track deserved a re-recording. Leila, then, was a natural choice of interpreter.

“Sá Marina”, which needs no introduction, is the greatest success of the two and presented a curious challenge: precisely because it was extensively re-recorded, it was difficult for Antonio to create an original rereading. But that was not a deterrent: “In the 40th arrangement, I reached a harmony very different from the original and everything went smoothly with Leila’s grand interpretation”. The presence of percussionist Dadá Costa, playing congas, brings influences from Caribbean music. The music solo makes references, in a kind of meta-tribute, to Stevie Wonder, who enshrined his own version of the song (“Pretty World”) with a harmonica solo. In the new album, this responsibility was left to Gabriel Grossi, a great sensation of the instrument.

“Vamos Partir Pro Mundo”, which was chosen as the album’s title song, “was the last one we did in the late 1970s, when I went abroad and Tibério to Goiás,” said Adolfo. This occurred shortly after the International Song Festival that year, when the pair won with the classic “BR-3 ″, played by Tony Tornado and Trio Ternura. “I decided to go into exile, but not before leaving“ Let’s Go to the World ”for Tiberius to write. At the time it was recorded by Doris Monteiro, and now masterfully by Leila ”, he added. Enriching the already incredible team of participants, Roberto Menescal contributes a guitar solo in the middle of the arrangement. “Recording with Menescal is always a privilege”.

“Teletema” was also a soundtrack, however from the soap opera “Véu de Noiva” (Rede Globo, 1969/70). The music is influenced by Michel Legrand and the lyrics tell a sad ending to a relationship between Tiberius and a girlfriend, who died in a car accident just while the verses of the song were being written. The tragedy, along with the late romance, the music and the whole moment ended up dictating the tone of the lyrics. Originally recorded by Regininha, “Teletema” was runner-up to the 1970 Song Olympics in Athens, Greece. The new version, in measure ¾, won an interlude whose piano is accompanied by Jessé Sadoc’s trumpet.

“Domingo Azul” is a joyful and unpretentious song, which describes a happy moment on a Sunday morning, on a beach. The arrangement in rhythm of ijexá presents a groove built from the combination of the remarkable ‘cuisine’ of Jorge Helder (bass), Marcio Bahia (drums) and Dadá Costa (percussion). Leila, once again, flows spontaneously with melody and lyrics.

“Alegria de Carnaval” emerged in 1967. It is, therefore, one of the very first fruits of the partnership. A marchinha with hints of frevo, the song describes a classic carnival ball from the countryside. Its subtlety, however, lies in highlighting the bittersweet feelings of joy and sadness that Antonio carries from these moments. All this combined with sixties-style harmonies.

“Caminhada”, from the same crop of 67, was, in fact, the duo’s first composition. “I had been trying to create a new style: adding the ‘modern’ harmonies of jazz and bossa to a style other than samba,” explained Antonio. From these experiments, and with the help of composer friends who brought news from North America, the embryos of modern music and the new baião emerged. “On our new album, I mixed baião with ijexá and other bossas, with harmony and a melody, now improved, that only a great singer like Leila Pinheiro is able to interpret with such tranquility”, explained the composer.

Also addressing memories of the interior of Brazil, “Giro” aligns bass, drums and percussion to the harmonica and the trumpet in an animated melody. Leila even joins Elis Regina on the list of her interpreters. “The City and Me”, on the other hand, is sad, mysterious and profound. A mixture of love and pain highlighted by the harmony and the contralto flute of Marcelo Martins, the music and lyrics explode in the second part, with a challenging melodic extension for any singer. “Originally my group Brazuca interpreted it, but perhaps the overly pop atmosphere of the recording at the time (1969) was not ideal. Leila, however, explodes with all the emotion in her performance ”.

“Ao Redor” was originally composed for the soap opera “Pigmalião 70 ″ (Rede Globo, 1970). The themes were distributed by music producer Nelson Motta among the composers who were successful at that time and it was chosen as the romantic track of the show. Its original version was made by Claudette Soares. “Pela Cidade”, also initially recorded by A Brazuca, has its lyricism, lyrics and melody highlighted in the new recording. “I created an arrangement that was also very different from the original that fit Leila’s modernity and our day”, he detailed.

“Tema Triste”, also from 1967, had already been recorded by Maysa in 1969. It now has a new voice interpretation accompanied only by piano and double bass. Leila managed to extract all the feeling from the theme. “When she sang, it touched everyone in the studio tremendously,” recalled Antonio. “Correnteza”, finally, closes the disc with the perfect combination of the music of Antonio Adolfo and Tibério Gaspar under Leila’s singing. The song, which had already been recorded by Simonal in 1968, sums up the atmosphere of the remarkable partnership in its beginning. Originally a modern tune that turns into bossa, it also features Roberto Menescal’s participation in the re-recording.

Although they had previously met, Leila and Antonio had an unprecedented closeness during the recordings at the Tambor studio. The intense coexistence and the immeasurable effort to achieve excellence made it even difficult to close the album’s repertoire (Adolfo and Gaspar composed more than 50 songs together). The disc, however, came out. And much more than a remembrance of the legacy of this pair of composers, it is the exhibition of a magnificent singer and a tour of an important section of the national songbook. All of this with modern arrangements, which maintain freshness in what is classic.

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