Mittwoch, 20. Juli 2022

Maria Bethânia – Maria Bethânia (1969)

Brazil's Maria Bethânia is one of her country's most famous, gifted, and enduring singers. After releasing her self-titled debut in 1965 for RCA, she became one of the most prominent voices to emerge from the MPB/Tropicalia eras; she has mastered genres ranging from samba, bossa, and pop to jazz, indigenous folk, and even rock. Possessed of a slightly reedy alto that can bend to contralto, Bethânia's background as a theatrical actress infused her recorded and live performances with drama, yet retained a deeply personal, intimate connection to both her material and her audience. She has released more than 60 albums.

Maria Bethânia Viana Teles Veloso was born in Santo Amaro da Purificação, in the state of Bahia in 1946, the sixth of eight children. She is the sister of singer/songwriter Caetano Veloso and poet and songwriter Mabel Veloso. Her father was not musically inclined, but loved to listen to Dorival Caymmi and Noel Rosa, while her mother sang almost constantly at home, becoming her daughter's first musical influence. At 13, her family moved to Salvador and she began to frequent the "university circles," intellectual groups gathering around art exhibitions and performances. The access to theater plays strengthened her desire to become an actress. At that time, a novice Caetano Veloso had become the musical partner of the play director Álvaro Guimarães. For Guimarães's short movie Moleques de Rua, Veloso composed a soundtrack which, according to him, should have had his sister singing in it. At 16, Bethânia initially refused, as she had never sung under such pressure. But Guimarães loved her timbre, and included her in his 1963 staging of Nelson Rodrigues' musical Boca de Ouro, where she performed a samba a cappella to introduce the play. The same year, the Velosos became acquainted with Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa. Veloso was invited to organize a Brazilian popular music show at the opening of Salvador's Teatro Vila Velha. The show, Nós, Por Exemplo, included Veloso, Maria Bethânia, Gilberto Gil, and Gal Costa (still using the name Maria da Graça). The show was a success and was re-enacted two weeks later, with the addition of Tom Zé (still using his Antônio José moniker). The success was even bigger, and the group (without Zé) soon presented another show, Nova Bossa Velha, Velha Bossa Nova. That same year, Bethânia acted alone in her musical Mora na Filosofia, directed by Veloso and Gil.

In January 1965, still a school student, she was surprised by the invitation to substitute for Nara Leão (an established young singer who had had a problem with her vocal cords) in her highly successful show Opinião. Bethânia's opening on February 13, 1965, was very successful, and her dramatic performance of "Carcará" (João do Vale/José Cândido) launched her as an overnight national success, repeated during the São Paulo season. Because of the success, Guilherme Araújo, then assistant for Aluísio de Oliveira at the RCA label, invited her, through Veloso, to record for the label. In May of that year, Bethânia recorded her first single, and some months later, her self-titled debut LP. On September 26, 1965, the Vila Velha gang opened the show Arena Canta Bahia, at São Paulo's Teatro de Arena. In April 1966, Bethânia, invited by Guilherme Araújo, opened her show Recital. She also performed at the Barroco nightclub in Rio. Also in 1966, Bethânia performed in the show Pois É, together with Gilberto Gil and Vinícius de Moraes, at the Teatro Opinião. In 1967, she recorded Edu Lobo e Maria Bethânia. Through 1970, she would also be featured in the shows Yes, Nós Temos Maria Bethânia, Comigo Me Desavim, Recital Na Boite Blow Up, and Brasileiro Profissão Esperança.

In 1968, as the Tropicalia movement was exploding, Bethânia performed on the LP Veloso, Gil e Bethânia (RCA) and the solo LP Recital na Boite Barroco. In 1969 and 1970, respectively, she released the LPs Maria Bethânia and Maria Bethânia Ao Vivo. Interestingly, she has always regarded herself a "tropicalista" -- given her birth and proximity to its creators, but she also claims she was never part of the movement and her discography lends credence to this assertion.


Yê-Melê 1:46
Pra Dizer Adeus 3:45
Ponto Do Guerreiro Branco 2:59
Preconceito 2:17
2 De Fevereiro 2:24
O Tempo E O Rio 3:41
Frevo Número Dois Do Recife 2:36
Duas Contas 3:12
Andança 3:09
Onde Andarás 3:10
Agora É Cinza / A Fonte Secou / Eu Agora Sou Feliz / O Nosso Amor / Cidade Maravilhosa 4:23

Maria Bethânia – Maria Bethânia (1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

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