01 Cordilheira (Nenê) – 08:16
02 Tocaia (Miranda, Nazario, Z. E. Nazario, Stroeter, Cardoso) – 03:15
03 Festa na Rua (Rodolfo Stroeter/Lelo Nazario) – 06:22
04 Metrópolis Tropical (Lelo Nazario) – 07:39
05 Olho d’Água (Marlui Miranda) – 02:53
06 Espíritos da Mata (Rodolfo Stroeter) – 12:40
Pau Brasil’s only live album up until then, Música Viva grew out of an invitation the group received to participate in the Brasil Musical project, led by guitarist André Geraissati (of the D’Alma group), with executive producer Solon Siminovich. From June to September, 1983, on the Sesc Pompéia stage, in São Paulo, the project recorded performances by twenty of Brazilian instrumental music’s most important names and groups. Those recordings comprise a collection of eleven CDs (one of which was a sampler of tracks from the ten albums), with cover art by painter Siron Franco.
Curiously, although each one of the concerts in the Música Viva series highlighted two attractions, the night thus recording was made, Pau Brasil headlined the program with accordionist Dominguinhos and not with Hermeto Pascoal, as the CD leads one to believe. “Our set was supposed to last about 40 minutes. That’s why we wrote two suites – to cover that time span – and we worked long and hard on allotting time for the improvisations”, recalls Rodolfo Stroeter.
The first suite consists of three compositions: ‘Cordilheira dos Andes’, by drummer Nenê (who had, at that point, already been replaced in the quintet by Zé Eduardo Nazario), which had appeared previously on Metrópolis Tropical; the collective composition ‘Tubofone’, which would be recorded again two years later (as ‘Tocaia’) on Babel; and ‘Bambuzal’, by Lelo Nazario and Stroeter, which would also resurface on Babel with a new arrangement, re-baptized as ‘Festa na Rua’.
Three more compositions make up the second suite: ‘Metrópolis Tropical’ by Lelo Nazario, previously recorded on the album of the same name; ‘Olho d’Água’, by singer-guitarist Marlui Miranda, who had just joined the group; and ‘Bambuzal’ (actually, ‘Espíritos da Mata’ / ‘Saci e Curupira no Bambuzal’ by Stroeter and Nenê), also previously recorded on the Metrópolis Tropical CD.
“What you hear on the album is exactly what we recorded that evening”, Stroeter remarks, emphasizing the fact that the recording was devoid of studio tricks. “It was while we were working on this project that we had the great good fortune to meet Alberto Ranellucci, a sound engineer from Argentina whose work was well above the Brazilian standard of the day. He’s overseen everything we’ve done in Brazil since then”.
The quintet was also surprised to find the recording of Hermeto Pascoal’s show on the CD that was released months later on the Tom Brasil label. “The label thought the musical language of Hermeto’s show bore a closer resemblance to ours than to Dominguinhos’ – and it truly was”, Stroeter agrees.