My Memories of My Third Recording in Brazil: "Matogrosso" by Ney Matogrosso.

I recently re-posted an Instagram post that praised the seminal recording titled "Matogrosso" by Brazilian singer Ney Matogrosso.  The post was from São Paulo Drumbrother, Bruno Balan, and you can check it out here:

Bruno tagged me in the post, so I commented a bit about the session.  Then, more memories of that special third recording session in Brazil began surfacing in my mind, spurring me to write them down and share them with you.

I was living in Rio de Janeiro in 1982, having traveled there a year before on a vacation trip to meet my inlaws.  During that vacation, I hooked up with some musician friends I knew, such as Robertinho Silva and João Donato, and they soon invited me to perform in their bands with them in Rio.  

As I was having fun performing with top musicians and making money, I regularly postponed my return to the States.  My situation got even sweeter as I became a first-call session player for Brazil's premier music producer, a man by the name of Marco Mazola.  The album, "Matogrosso," was the third record session I worked on in Brazil, and Mazola produced all three for the Ariola Records label. 

I arrived with my percussion cartage at the Som Livre studios in the Botafogo neighborhood around 9:00 A.M.  I've always been an "early riser," so getting to the studio then was no big sacrifice!  However, to my surprise, pianist César Camargo Mariano and Mazola were already there!  César was sitting at the piano inside the main recording room, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette, and writing the arrangements for the day's session while chatting with Mazola.  The rest of the session guys straggled in during the next hour.  (I've since learned that "Carioca punctuality" is an oxymoron! 😉)

This record counts with a stellar cast of players!  I don't have the LP anymore to list all of the cat's names... but I can remember the following: 
César Camargo Mariano - piano and arrangements
Helio Delmiro - guitar
Pedro Baldanza - bass
Leo Gandelman - saxophone
Márcio Montarroyos - trumpet
Serginho - trombone
Robertinho Silva - drums
Frank Colón - percussion
Paulo Braga - drums
Marçalzinho - percussion
Chacal - percussion

This album did very well commercially, with the song "Promessas Demais" becoming the opening soundtrack/theme for a major soap opera, "Paraiso, " which ran on Globo TV.

Other highlights of the album are: 
(1) "Por De Baixo dos Panos," by Cecéu (Top-Ten Hit!); 
(2) "Alegria Carnaval," by Jorge Aragão (which mixed disco music and samba-enredo);
(3) "Tanto Amar," by Chico Buarque (The lyrics mention Puerto Rico!) ;
4) "Uai, Uai," by Rita Lee (featuring Rita on vocals!)

And, on account of its double-entendre lyrics, the song "Johnny Pirou" (Leo Jaime's version of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Good") was banned from public performance at the time of the album's release!


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