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Chico César CDs & Links

De Uns Tempos Pra Ca

De Uns Tempos Pra Ca
(2006)

Brazilian Music
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Chico Cesar, singular singer-songwriter
from Paraíba state in Brazil's Northeast

Chico Cesar CDs: A - Z

Aos Vivos

Chico Cesar Aos Vivos
reissue of debut album
(1995)

With his outlandish neo-Indian costumes and music that borrows from reggae, hip-hop, and Senegalese mbalax, Chico César serves notice that he's doing Brazilian popular music his way. He marries an elastic voice that croons and purrs one moment, yelps and yodels the next, to a dexterity on guitar that puts him in the league of tiptop instrumentalists. Originally released on a small independent label in Brazil, the live, mostly solo recording Aos Vivos launched César's career, putting him in demand as both a performer and the composer of hit songs like "A Primeira Vista," which Daniela Mercury transformed into the theme song for a smash TV soap opera, and the reggae-styled "Mama Africa." His unique take on the accordion-driven forro melodies of northeastern Brazil evoke Congolese and Angolan pop on "Tambores" and "Duvida Cruel" when he sets them against his bouncy, circular guitar lines. This welcome reissue easily trumps César's concurrently released studio recording on the Putumayo label, Chico César, proving that the charisma of a singer-with-guitar concert can brandish more firepower than an amplified ensemble. --Bob Tarte
 

Beleza Mano
(1997)
limited availability

Chico César is yet, after publishing this (his third) album, a classic and one of the most influential musicians from Brazil. Mixing folkloric music from Brazils north-east, african influences and pop, this is a truly fascinating album and remains a beautiful treasury of melodies, rhythms and sounds even after listening it a 100 times. For those who speak portuguese: He writes some of the finest Brazilian lyrics these days. --an Amazon reviewer


Millennium

Chico Cesar (Millennium Series)
retrospective album
(1999)
 

Chico Cesar Para Menores

Chico Cesar Para Menores
(2005)

Double Album for Children. Guests: Fernando Barba and Grupo Barbatuques, Veridiana Toledo, Yael Pecarovich, Wandi Doratiotto, Zelia Duncan, Vitor Ramil, Andre Abujamra, Marisa Orth, Zeca Baleiro, Lenine, Vange Milliet, Ana Carolina, Ceumar, Arnaldo Antunes, Miriam Maria and Moska.


Cuscuz Cla

Cuscuz Cla
(1996)
limited availability

This studio album was a great success in Brazil when it was released in 1996 and for good reason: the CD has one great song after another. Many of the songs here have been re-released or re-recorded on some of his subsequent albums. Chico César's musical style is pop rhythms with a strong influence of Brazilian Northeastern sound. Also thrown in the mix are Afrobrazilian and reggae themes to round out the musical salad. Probably the best known track on the album is "A Primeira Vista" which is wonderful romantic song. The song itself become hugely popular when Daniela Mercury's recording of the song was the theme music for "O Rei do Gado" which was a popular soap opera in Brazil. While Daniela's version is full of instrumentation, the original song here is beautiful for its simplicity. What stands out is Chico's voice and his guitar which together create a strong emotional message that really connects. This song is followed on the CD by "Sirimbo" which is great dance song. If you are not at least tapping your hand while listening to this song, you should check your pulse.

The other big hit when it came out was "Mama Africa". The subject of the song is "Mama Africa" who is a poor single working mother. The first line of chorus, "Mama Africa (a minha mae)," is sung with a whiney wail at the end which sounds exactly like a kid crying for his mom. The song portrays a sympathetic view of the plight of probably too many moms in Brazil. The shortest song on the album is one of my favorites. "Esta" is less than two minutes long and Chico is only accompanied by a guitar. The sound of his voice on this love song as well as on "Isso" is very reminiscent of Caetano Veloso. The album is a mix of a themes which range from making socio-political statements (like on "Dá Licenca M") to just creating pure fun song like "You Yuri" which is just a play on words revolving around the names Yuri Popoff and Yuri Gagarin (you get extra points if you actually know who these two people are). --an Amazon reviewer


Mama Mundi
(2000)
limited availability
Mama Mundi album notes


Respeite Meus Cabelos Brancos

Respeite Meus Cabelos Brancos
limited availability
(2002)
 



Chico Cesar

songs from two Brazilian albums,
"Cuscuz Cla" and "Beleza Mano"
(2000)
limited availability

César's songs are redolent of the melting pot that is northeastern Brazil. He favors the region's loping forro and frevo rhythms, but tosses in liberal doses of samba-laced and straight reggae and a bit of rock, all processed through an easygoing Tin Pan Alley catchiness. His nasal tenor vocals are surrounded by choirs of backup singers, perky accordions, and rip-roaring percussion, plus aggressive brass charts on the uptempo numbers, and airy strings, woodwinds, and acoustic guitars on the ballads. Born a generation later than Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil, César shares their passion for melody and the slurred, luscious intricacies of the Portuguese language. Copious liner notes and complete lyric translations are provided. --Christina Roden


Chico Cesar Links

Chico Cesar Article (by Bruce Gilman)
 

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