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Bebeto - Bebeto
whatmusic.com presents ‘Bebeto’. A little-known LP from the Tamba Trio members led by bass/sax player Bebeto. A mix of João Gilberto/Jobim style vocals with the inimitable Fender-led Tamba sound!

  • First ever worldwide release!
  • Tracks include hard bossa ‘Batuque’, Joyce’s ‘Nosotros’ & a sublime ‘Razão de Viver’!
  • Features Luiz Eça, Helcio Milito & Laércio de Freitas
  • Exclusive new interview

Check the 30 second clips from the album...

01 Batuque 3:04
02 P'ra Não Chorar 2:14
03 Salgueiro Chorão 2:19
04 Nosotros (Nós) 3:51
05 Tristeza De Nós Dois 2:44
06 Deja-Me Ir 2:29
07 Mendigo E Ladrão 4:40
08 Estardalhaço 2:53
09 Canção Do Nosso Amor 2:37
10 Voltei Ao Meu Lugar 1:59
11 Moça Flor 2:39
12 Razão De Viver 2:35

The whatmusic.com interview...


Bebeto, you play two instruments that on the face of it don’t seem to have much in common – how did you choose bass and sax/flute?
Well, I started off playing the clarinet, then moved on to the alto sax, both solo instruments, and I began to sense a need to be playing a harmonic instrument but one that was at the same time rhythmic, something that would make me a more complete musician. In truth I never liked the bass players with whom I’d been playing and decided to play myself and in my own way. So, whilst there may not be an apparent connection between these instruments, as you can see, they form the necessary basis for any musician – rhythm, harmony and melody.

There are a number of classic photos from the late 50s/early 60s with you guys jamming in people’s apartments in Copacabana – and there’s one of you with the Tamba Trio guys plus Luiz Carlos Vinhas, Octavio Bailly and Ronnie Mesquita – two trios in fact. Did you guys have a strict line-up for the Tamba Trio?
Initially, we played together as a trio without any idea of a giving ourselves a name, let alone actually forming a proper group. But it was the pure and simple fact that we each liked the playing and style of the others – each leader liked his two sidemen! Because we didn’t really have this concept of a group as such, that meant that we played with all sorts of people and line-ups, as you can see in those old photos. But, at the same time, the trio was a priority, as can be seen by the fact that the three of us recorded together; accompanying the trombonist Raul de Barros on the LP ‘Luiz Eça & Raul, Cada Qual Melhor’ on Odeon in Brazil. If I’m not mistaken it came out in England on Parlophone.

Although Tamba was a trio, there was often a fourth member on the records – few people think of the guitar on your tracks but usually Durval Ferreira was augmenting the group wasn’t he?
Durval didn’t really participate as member of the group – he was really on those records as a studio musician, In fact he only recorded two LPs with us and on one of them, ‘Tamba 75’ on RCA, we invited four different guitarists – João Bosco, Danilo Caymmi, Toninho Horta and Helio Delmiro; although there were also some tracks without guitar.

How did the group end up in the States in the late 60s – was this after your period touring Mexico?
That’s right, straight after we got back to Brasil, after six months in Mexico, we met the promoter who took us to sign with A&M and to Creed Taylor’s CTI label, albeit in the form of a quartet – the Tamba 4.

The two records you made there were apparently the worst sellers on the CTI label despite the fact that they are great records. Ironically they are now perhaps the most sought after titles by collectors and have both been reissued.
Yes it’s funny because at the time of those recordings, although he never actually said anything, Creed Taylor gave the distinct impression from his attitude that he really didn’t like anything on those records… who knows?

The group went through a number of line-up changes – what brought that about?
The changes in the group came about by necessity – there was one time when Helcio Milito just upped and left us and that was when I got my friend Ohana to join us – when we went to the States to record for CTI and after when we returned to Mexico as a quartet. Luiz had decided that he, too, wanted to leave the group and he only stayed to record the second American album, ‘Samba Blim’. After recording the record Luiz went back to Brasil. Meanwhile, we went back to Mexico where we had guaranteed work and time to reform the group. It was then that I brought in [pianist] Laércio de Freitas. You’ve heard the album we did there – on that record I was the only remaining link to the original Tamba Trio.

In the early 70s Luiz Eça began to play a lot more Fender Rhodes and the Tamba group reformed to record two funkier LPs for RCA which had little to do with the original bossa sound of the group.
Yes, in the 70s I went back to Brasil where I was playing nightclubs until 73, at which point I decided to reform the band and record an album – ‘Tamba 74’ [RCA] – with Luiz playing Rhodes, and with Helcio playing the tamba, which was the drum that he invented and from where we took the name of the group, instead of kit drums. I don’t like anything from that LP because I think it lost all the characteristics of the Tamba Trio. In fact on the track ‘Se é Questão de Adeus’ there’s a rock guitar solo that wasn’t me playing, despite what it says on the album credits, but a young guy from a São Paulo rock group whose name I don’t remember – another guest guitarist!

Did you always want to record a solo LP?
Well this record was really a surprise for me, because I had long given up the idea of making my own record, something that had been really important to me back in the 60s when ‘Moça Flor’ was first a big success. However, Philips didn’t have the faith in me to let me do an album, they preferred to record ‘Luiz Eça with Strings’. So later, in the 70s, I was taken by surprise when Manolo from Tapecar suggested the idea of making a record and then gave me exactly four days to get the project off the ground! Because of this the record didn’t have a concept as such, but it started to gain shape as the recordings took place and also when I chose to record with Laércio. Durval played cavaquinho, too, for the first time on ‘Batuque’.

Many people outside of Brasil who don’t really know much about Brasilian music are always comparing every other Brasilian voice with João Gilberto, but your voice really is a mix of Gilberto’s fragility and Jobim’s tone. Did you always sing in the Tamba groups?
Yes, I always sang with Tamba – some tracks on the records and lots of things that we did live. We played songs that we never recorded that had lead vocals as well as the instrumentals we are known for. With respect to my singing style, if there is a resemblance to João or Tom it’s because we spent all of time in the early days listening to the voice of Chet Baker whose records we played until we wore them out. Whole days and nights we spent together or alone listening to that fantastic musician sing and play.

On the album you recorded a bolero by the Argentinean Mike Ribas who recorded a lot of Brasilian influenced stuff in Buenos Aires in the 70s – did you then work with him?
No I didn’t know Mike, it was Dori Caymmi, who showed me the song. We didn’t even know his name, it was the production team who found the credits and the got permission for the song to be on the record, but it’s beautiful and I would have liked to have worked with him.

There are three compositions on the record by Lysias Enio in partnership with José Edmundo Guedes – were they written for the album?
The songs by Lysias, who’s João Donato’s brother and lyricist, appeared out of the blue but at the perfect moment. In the few days that I had been given to organise the record I bumped into Lysias in Copacabana, after not having seen him for 15 years! He told me he had some brand new songs he’d written – I never even knew that he composed. So I told him about the record I was doing and he came straight home with me and we recorded a cassette demo of the three sambas. I don’t know who José Edmundo, the co-author, was. I don’t even know who wrote the music and who wrote the words!

Although all the tracks are consistently well arranged and memorable there are two songs that have been covered many times but of which your versions are perhaps the most beautiful – ‘Moça Flor’ and ‘Razão de Viver’ – are you most attracted to this type of melancholic melody?
I really love romantic music but I also love sambas with plenty of swing, even if they’re not taken at fast tempo, and I’ve been working on a selection of that kind of material that I’m going to record soon after I’ve seen what reaction this reissue gets!

This particular album has been a cult record in Japan for some time now, despite the fact it doesn’t feature any obvious dance floor club hits. What do you think it is that the Japanese see in your work?
Well, the Japanese are a very reserved people so it’s hard to predict what their reaction might be! I don’t know how to explain their attitude in relation to the Tamba Trio either. Why is it that they see us in the way that they do? Could it be that they think it’s because our music is created for the dancefloor atmosphere? Because if that’s the case, it’s exactly what we wanted to achieve with the trio. Music to be heard and felt.

Finally what do you think about the reissue of this record so many years later?
This album coming out again in 2002 gives me real reason for me to be happy. It’s great that you guys understand the market that exists for this type of music and that you recognise that the time is right to reissue it. I’m really, really pleased that this is happening.

Special thanks to Bebeto Castilho, Durval Ferreira & Manolo (Tapecar)

CEDAR & Remastering by Jim Hurst @ Digital Recording Services Shepperton Studios

© 2002 whatmusic.com
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