Friday, October 3, 2008

Elis Regina - Águas de Março

This performance was broadcasted in 1973, on a MPB Especial series called Ensaio. Check out the rest of the show here. I love the fact that she seemed to have enjoyed herself in the performance.

Similar to its predecessor, MPB (Brazilian popular music) was born out of an attempt to produce a Brazilian "national" music, thus revitalizing traditional styles. The beginning of MPB is often associated with Elis Regina´s interpretation of the mysterious Arrastão, by Vinícius de Moraes and Edu Lobo. The song was almost censored by Brazil's new ruling junta, because it told the story of a fisherman, while hauling in his nets, prayed to St. Barbara for aid. It was a story that hit a little too close to home for the everyday man.

Bob Dylan played another song of hers on his Theme Time Radio Hour, but recalled that by the end of her Arrastão rendition, Regina posed in a crucified position, with tears streaming down her eyes. This emotional song performance won her awards and widespread popularity in Brazil.

The earliest MPB borrowed elements of the bossa nova and often relied on thinly-veiled criticism of social injustice and governmental repression, being based on progressive opposition to the political scene characterized by military dictatorship, concentration of land ownership, and imperialism.

The conjuncture that created the MPB movement ceased to exist after 1969, but the acronym has survived, albeit with a less specific meaning. Transforming from a left-wing musical movement, MPB became the core of Brazil's urban middle-class music, and the term still indicates a certain aesthetic quality in modern Brazilian music.
First heard about Elis Regina on Dylan's radio show, he played a cover called "Aquarela Do Brasil" that she did with Jean Toots' Thielemans. It's a song that's really hard to find, butttt with my skilllzzz I've gotten hold of it! Just click on the link to the song.

You can learn a bit more about her here.

Source: Wiki + Dreamtime

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