I grew up listening to Edu Lobo’s music. I didn’t have any of his own recordings up until the past decade or so, but by listening to Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66, and the Tijuana Brass, I became familiar with a few of his songs. Back then, I had no idea how influential he was to Brazilian music in general. After reading Ruy Castro’s Bossa Nova, I learned the roots of Brazilian music, and how the bossa nova originators and later Brazilian musical movements all fit in together.
Edu Lobo came onto the scene in the early to mid 60s, and he recorded his debut album in 1965: A Música de Edu Lobo por Edu Lobo. Even better: he’s accompanied by the Tamba Trio, which was already a well-known bossa nova group that leaned more toward the jazz side of the music. Do they fit well together?
All I can say is: what a great pairing! In fact, this is a far more potent “Tamba 4″ (if you will) than what would end up on A&M. Not to put down the excellent We And The Sea, but under CTi’s roof, a lot of the Tamba Trio creativity was watered down for the jazz-buying public on many of the tracks, especially on Samba Blim. Tamba Trio is in top form on this disc already, and to hear the fresh new compositions of composer/lyricist Edu Lobo, with his guitar-playing talents, is a treat indeed.
Many followers of Brazilian music will recognize these tunes. ”Reza” is a Brazilian standard, and here it is, in its original version; countless others would cover it in later years, including Brasil ’66, Cal Tjader, Sergio Mendes (on a pre-Brasil ’66 album), and many others. ”Arrastão” you’ve heard by Brasil ’66 as “For Me”. And “Chegança” is yet another classic covered by many other artists.
Despite the Tamba Trio’s involvement (and especially, Luizinho Eca’s piano stylings), this is truly Lobo’s moment to shine. His steady baritone and concise guitar anchor his compositions on this set. And this album is quite the springboard, as he’d go on to compose and record many more memorable tunes throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s…and onward. His lone A&M album, Sergio Mendes Presents Edu Lobo, is another high point in his career, and also worth seeking out.
The only real downside to this set is the sound quality–it’s already not the clearest, but the tape suffered from quite a few small dropouts, which you’ll notice more over headphones than through speakers.
This is currently available only as an import, but it is still worth finding. Especially if you are a fan of Lobo’s songwriting. This album shows you where it all began, and it comes highly recommended!