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Whatmusic.com presents 'A Chave do Sucesso'. Orlann Divo, the man who could play samba with a bunch of house keys, teamed up with the best in the business to record his first killer LP in 1962. A huge early influence on Jorge Ben, this band later evolved into the Ed Lincoln group.

  • First ever worldwide release!
  • Features bossa kings Ed Lincoln, Waltel Blanco & Rubens Bassini
  • Features classic track 'Onde Anda o Meu Amor'
  • Exclusive interview with Orlann Divo
  • Digitally remastered from the original tapes

Check the 30 second clips from the album...

The whatmusic.com interview...

In July 1999 Whatmusic was lucky enough to catch a very unusual gig in Rio. The return of Orlann Divo to the Zona Sul live circuit after years of being marginalised to low paying 'dance' shows in the Rio suburbs. In classic Carioca style the show, at Vinicius Piano Bar in Ipanema, was late in starting due to the unexplained absence of the pianist Perna Froes. Not to be deterred, and obviously anxious to start pleasing the packed crowd, Orlann Divo reverted to his original 'gimmick' of playing his large bunch of house keys, much in the way that the malandros of Lapa had once practised their batucadas on a box of matches. As he recounted the tale of legendary bandleader Cipo telling the young Divo that he had to have a gimmick, had to create his own sound, he showed the audience how he had come up with this 'samba de chave'. After singing three numbers to this metallic shuffle and standing applause, Perna Froes finally turned up and the show proper started, leaving very few holes in Orlann Divo's classic canon of samba de balanco songs. After talking to the man himself, we decided that something should be done to reissue his classic LPs in the best possible quality from the original masters, to counter the effect of the terrible quality bootlegs of his work that abound in stores from London to Tokyo and back. So here they are, the three classic LPs cut by Orlann Divo for the Rio based Musidisc label digitally remastered in Rio by Ricardo Garcia; possibly the best mastering engineer in Brasil.

Forward to October 2001 and Orlann Divo is at the end of the long distance line.

WM: Tell me how you got started as a musician?

OD: Well, I'd written some songs with a guy called Paulo Silvino and we were supposed to record on an album called Nova Geracao de Ritmo de Samba. Eumir Deodato who was still just a kid, he was on it and Durval Ferreira, he was already on board too. But anyway, some stuff happened and they ended up not asking me to record but they used one of my songs. In fact it was the first time that Claudette Soares had recorded anything and she recorded my song Cinderela em 3D which told the story of a modern Cinderella in Copacabana.

WM: What year was that?

OD: That was in 1959 and I had been playing in local bars in Copacabana, principally with Djalma Ferreira at his nightclub the famous Drink. Ed Lincoln was his bass player in those days. Anyway, they had me singing and they had Silvio Cezar, Miltinho singing as well. It was Miltinho who helped me to develop my singing style - I was terrified of being compared with Joao Gilberto, everybody was at that time. Also my thing wasn't really bossa nova it was samba de balanco; music for people to dance to not just to sit and listen. Miltinho convinced me to sing my own compositions and that was a first for me. So I started singing and developing this style I have until today. Around that time I had fallen out with Paulo Silvio and started working with Roberto Jorge with whom I composed over 100 songs.

WM: When did you cut your first record?

OD: Well, Nilo Sergio at Musidisc had head me at the Drink you know and Ed Lincoln was already on his label and so they called me in and I sang four songs. They came out on an EP with a black and white picture of me on the cover. The songs were a real success and were played everywhere. The Jornal do Brasil gave me a great big write up in their Sunday section, the radios were playing the record non-stop. It got tons of radio play and you could hear it everywhere you went but in those days the radio didn't pay royalties and no one got any money, so the best thing was playing live shows. TV appearances paid well when you could get them. This was before TV Globo existed, in Rio in those days there was only the TV Tupi station in the old casino at Urca and I was invited to co-host a weekly show on Saturday afternoons called Alo Broto with Sonia Delfino. Man, I used that show to help a lot of my friends that were playing samba de balanco get their first steps into TV, Jorge Ben, Wilson Simonal even Roberto Carlos, you know. Because I was already there on the inside I could get them onto the programme. But playing live was the best thing still, because we could make any audience get to their feet and start dancing and not want to stop. Ed Lincoln had swapped his bass for the organ by then. He'd started playing it one day at Drink and Djalma Ferreira said 'that's a great sound we gotta have that sound on stage'. Because it was a younger sound, you know, more dancante. And Durval Ferreira joined Silvio Cezar and me and Rubens Bassini. We made a really good living for a long time with dance music.

WM: After the success of the single Musidisc invited you to record more songs for the first LP?

OD: Oh yeah, because of all this success we recorded some more songs in addition to the four from the single and put out that first LP A Chave do Sucesso. Some of those songs went around the world. I got a call once from Doris Monteiro who was in Portugal and she said, 'Orlann Samba Toff is being playing 24 hours a day as a jingle here'. Apparently for a long time it was the jingle for a local brand of coffee, Café Toff!

WM: Who were the players on the records? Those covers never tell you anything!

OD: That's right but we had only the best, only the absolute best on those albums. Ed Lincoln on organ and piano, those piano solos are his, and Waltel on guitar. That's right, Waltel Blanco on electric guitar, Rubens Bassini on percussion.

WM: Who was on drums?

OD: Well, we had Fernando on drums. In truth there were two Fernandos! Fernando Careca was called that because he was bald and after the left we had Fernando Bancario. Bancario because he worked in a bank!

WM I wanted to ask about your signing style - it reminds me very much of early Jorge Ben even though you were obviously recording and playing before him..

OD Well there's a funny story about Jorge Ben. One day I was playing at Bottles on the Beco das Garrafas and the owner fo the Plaza Club Oliveira Filho, came up to me and said Orlann that's a kid outside who says he's written some songs for you. I was quite curious so I went out and there was this kid you know, Jorge Ben, very very young and he took the guitar and started playing Por Causa de Voxe and Mas Que Nada, you know woth that same singing through the nose style; singing voh-shay instead of voh-say. Well I was flattered but I thought they were fantastic and said Kid you gotta record them yourself. He said Oh no MR Divo I wrote these songs for you, Im not a singer! And I said hey kid Look at em I wasn't a singer either and look at me [laughs]! Some while later I heard that Armando Pittiliginia from Philips had signed him up and the next thing you know Mas Que Nada is selling millions all around the world! But, in truth I had just recorded my frist LP and I didn't' think I could take his songs and not record them. But he found his own voice and that's great. He ended up covering one of my songs!

WM: What do you think about the fact that these albums are finally being reissued legitimately?

OD: I think it's great. It's like they got their own lives back!

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