LUCIANO / Batucada Fantastica Vol III
whatmusic.com presents ‘Batucada Fantastica Vol 3’, the 1972 batucada classic full of pysch effects & studio trickery from veteran drummer Luciano Perrone & friends!
* First ever worldwide release!
* Tracks include wild scat vox ‘Vocal Samba’ & ‘Crazy Cuicas’!
* Features percussionist Pedro dos Santos
* Exclusive new liner notes
Check the 30 second clips from the album…
01 ESCOLA DE SAMBA 3:55
02 BERIMBAU 0:35
03 CAPOEIRA 2:36
04 TAMBORINS ENVENENADOS 2:03
05 SAMBA VOCALIZADO 2:25
06 RECO-RECO NA LAVADEIRA 1:21
07 POLCA-SAMBA-CHORO 2:25
08 O SOM DA CRIANÇOLA 1:57
09 APITO NO EMBALO 1:36
10 CUICAS LOUCAS 2:11
11 AFRO-BRASILEIROS 4:45
12 FREVO 1:28
13 SAMBA CRUZADO 1:49
14 SORONGO 2:11
15 RECO-MOLA 1:18
16 SAMBA EM 5 SONS 1:22
17 CHORO BRASILEIRO 1:36
18 ZÉ PEREIRA 1:05
The whatmusic.com interview…
Of all the artists on the albums that whatmusic.com has reissued, Luciano Perrone stands out as the oldest and perhaps the one with the longest professional career. Born in Rio in 1908, Perrone, (son of conductor Luiz Perrone) started performing auspiciously with Enrico Caruso in 1917 when the latter toured Brazil. During the next few years Perrone would accompany the full band at the famous Odeon cinema in the aptly named Cinelândia, the then swish section of downtown Rio where the new picture palaces and theatres were being built. Playing with nothing more than a snare drum placed precariously on a chair and one cymbal hung from the railings of the orchestra pit, the 14 year old Perrone would start his career as the virtual godfather of Brazilian kit drumming. Perrone would even work as a live dubbing artist and acted out the role of Jackie Coogan in Chaplin’s classic ‘The Kid’.
During this time with the cinema orchestra he was probably one of the first musicians to play samba on a kit drum. In the first decades of the 20th century, samba was still very much the exclusive domain of the workers and bohemian classes, so this was a radical departure from the ‘modinhas’ and ‘chorinhos’ that dominated the drawing of rooms of middle-class Rio.
By the late 20s the young Perrone was playing with a number of big bands and jazz orchestras and during a season in Minas Gerais he met the young maestro and composer Radames Gnatalli, with whom he would play and record for the rest of his life. In 1936 Perrone took part in the inaugural broadcasts of the innovative Radio Nacional station, the first nationwide broadcaster, as well as performing the first concert ever based around a drummer. 1939 saw Perrone as the drummer on the first ever recording of Ary Barroso’s ‘Aquarela do Brasil’. At this time Perrone’s dream was to lead an orchestra dedicated to showcasing the richness and variety of Brazilian rhythm. For the next fifteen years Perrone was the drummer of choice for any singer, orchestra or radio station and worked constantly. In 1960 he toured Europe as part of the ‘3rd Official Caravan of Brazilian Popular Music’ and audiences and critics alike were astounded at his virtuosity.
Back in the early 60s Musidisc had had the idea to record Perrone playing many of the rhythms of 20th century Brazil for posterity and possibly to aid those young percussionists who had never heard anyone playing ‘frevo’ on record or sambas rendered in polka time. They certainly couldn’t have guessed that 40 years later DJs in the rest of the world would be using these albums to sample from!
This LP, ‘Batucada Fantastica Volume 3’ dating from 1972 is perhaps the most interesting from a listener’s perspective. Normally very tiring to listen to, batucada recordings are not most people’s home listening favourites, but on ‘Vol 3’ the tracks are so diverse and so truly ‘fantastica’ that it’s difficult not to marvel and then suddenly find out that you’ve listened to the whole album. ‘Samba Vocalizado’ for example is an extraordinary scat take on the samba with the voice taking the lead drum part. ‘Samba Cruzado’ features something that sounds like a jew’s harp and could be a soundtrack piece from ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’! ‘Reco-Reco na Lavadeira’ takes that timeworn folk instrument, the washboard and scraper, and climbs into ecstatic reaches of intricate spidery rhythms cascading across the boards. Easy to make a noise with a washboard – hard to make music like this.
The rhythms of the Capoeira ritual are also present on the album. In three movements, ‘Angola’, Luna’ and ‘São Bento de Angola’ the three different strands of the discipline are showcased. Highly complicated and rigid-patterned structures form part of the separate sections of the Capoeira ritual dance (which bear no relation to Australian hippies busking the berimbau on the London Underground or the lamentable recent BBC idents!). This is the real thing in all its spellbinding glory.
Everybody loves a cuica – that sound of dogs being drowned (by the cats that lost their skins to make the drum?) that is so close to human voice and so beloved of samplers worldwide. Here on ‘Cuicas Loucas’, Marcal and Ministro bring forward joyous cries from the tears of those cats!
Pedro dos Santos is Perrone’s main helper on Vol 3. The inventor of the Sorongo (he’s sometimes credited as Pedro Sorongo), a kind of hollow bamboo drum similar to the african log drum, Pedro dos Santos worked for many years with Baden Powell and Sebastiao Tapajos both in Brazil and in Germany and Argentina. On the eponymous track ‘Sorongo’, Pedro plays out his trademark sound alongside Perrone.
The ‘frevo’ is a carnival rhythm originating in the Pernambuco region of Northeast Brazil, once briefly colonised by the French and the Dutch. A kind of march time, the ‘frevo’ has its roots in european military music but with strong african and indigenous influences in the meter and style of drumming.
‘Samba em 5 Sons’ has Perrone playing through the basic elements that make up the smallest samba group, like the ones that can be seen and heard even today at Friday night streetcorner bars. The ‘surdo’ (literally the ‘deaf’ drum) is the bass and basis and the player marks out the 2/4 beat alternately between mallet strikes and hand-stops; the berimbau doesn’t strictly belong to the samba but is often used to good effect; the atabaque drums, the agogo cowbells, and tambourine drum are all integral elements and are usually married to the sound of the ‘caixa’ (box) or snare drum.
All in all ‘Batucada Fantastica Vol 3’ represents a world away from the typical ‘tourist’ folk albums common in the 60s and provides a unique portfolio of authentic sounds and rhythms that will please the listener and the DJ!
In 1994 Luciano performed for the last time (aged 70) at the Sala Cecilia Meireles theatre in Rio de Janeiro accompanied by an orchestra led by maestro Artur Lima. Whatmusic.com was present at this historic show to witness Perrone, resplendent with long white hair combed back and a silver sharkskin suit, sit down at the front of the stage behind an ancient pearl-finish Gretsch kit and proceed to play the most extraordinarily complex and subtle rhythms, whilst the orchestra did what it could just to keep up with him. So it’s a great honour for us to be able to make this classic album available once more.
Produced by Nilo Sérgio
Sound Engineer: Ary Perdigão
Cover Illsutration: Aldemir Martins
Remastered by Luigi Hoffer at Digital Mastering Solutions Rio de Janeiro July 2002
Special thanks to Nilo Sérgio, Ary & Durval Ferreira