Valle ’73

As I work through more Brazilian music, I’ve been really enjoying Marcos Valle. On his album Samba 68, he wrote perfect little bossa nova and samba tunes, mostly duets with his wife.  The sound is stripped down, acoustic, sweet. By 1971’s Garra, Valle was in a different world, one full of funky electric guitars, layers of backing vocals, brass, and string sections. Instead of taking his songs in satisfying and expected directions, he would make sudden pivots and turns, like in this song, where he takes a break from the buoyant hook to insert a strangely serious, “Eleanor Rigby”-like tangent. By 1973, Valle had changed his tune again, focusing on laid-back grooves, adding lot of electric piano and synthesizer.  The resulting album Previsao Do Tempo is one of his best.  The song below, “Mais Do Que Valsa,” sounds like Valle should’ve been hanging out in Los Angeles in the early 70s; it’s a perfect companion for a Beach Boys’ song like “All This And That.” And “Nao Tem Nada Nao” is streamlined and simple.  All possible extraneous elements are removed, so that everything is in the service of forward momentum.


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