01 Pindorama (Ayres, Sion, Bellinati, Stroeter, Wyatt) – 05:15
02 Alakãi (Hermeto Paschoal) – 03:00
03 Lundu (Paulo Bellinati) – 06:07
04 Modinha (Paulo Bellinati) – 04:35
05 Fogo no Baile (Nelson Ayres) – 07:11
06 Dança (Martelo) da Bachianas Brasileiras nº 5 (Heitor Villa-Lobos) – 04:26
07 Só por Amor (Baden Powell/Vinícius de Moraes) – 03:35
08 Bye Bye Brasil (Roberto Menescal/Chico Buarque) – 03:36
Having conceptualized the programmatic Pindorama, Rodolfo Stroeter highlights the album’s role in the group’s evolution. “This record is important because it expresses a philosophy of Brazilian music. The repertory includes Villa-Lobos, Chico Buarque, Baden Powell and Hermeto Pascoal”, the bass player notes. “Pindorama endowed Pau Brasil with a personality. The closer we got to the idea of an ensemble, the more the group came together”.
“We rehearsed a lot for this record”, Nelson Ayres remarks, recalling how it took months to create the final part of ‘Fogo no Baile’ – a catchy baião he wrote. “We had part of it ready, but we didn’t know how to go on. It was trial and error”. Hermeto Pascoal, who contributed an amusing vocal on this track, also composed ‘Alakãi’ for this record at the group’s request.
On a track such as Dança (Martelo) from Heitor Villa-Lobos’ ‘Bachianas Brasileiras nº 5’, even those who had the opportunity to attend Pau Brasil’s performances and listen to their records during the 1980s might currently find the use of electronic instruments somewhat peculiar – although it should be remembered that their presence in instrumental music and in the jazz of that period was widespread.
“Pau Brasil evolved along with amplified sound”, Paulo Bellinati explains. “It was hard making highly Brazilian music with the electrical instruments of the period – Ovation guitars, Fender basses, a DX7 keyboard or any of the other things we used. It was a very Los Angeles sound. We moved a lot closer to Brazil with piano, guitar and acoustic bass”.
Suggested by Azael Rodrigues shortly before he left the group as a new interpretation of Chico Buarque’s popular song, ‘Bye Bye Brasil’ became an audience favorite at concerts. “I thought of the arrangement as a little train, with an ostinato lasting throughout the entire song”, Nelson Ayres explains.
The recording of Bellinati’s ‘Lundu’ is equally inventive. “It was a laboratory of sounds – really descriptive, almost like a soundtrack”. The composer describes how the group brought chains, whips and other unusual objects into the studio in order to produce noises that allude to the violence perpetrated upon the slaves.
‘Pindorama’ – the opening track – was conceived in the studio. “We decided to create an opening theme for the record. Someone suggested the rising phrase, although we weren’t thinking of the harmony yet. Somebody else responded with that phrase and then we worked the bridge into it. It was a group effort”, Roberto Sion recalls.
As for the booklet included with the LP, which Stroeter commissioned to musician and teacher Edgard Poças, it left many of the group’s fans perplexed. Illustrated with drawings by cartoonist Nássara, it included a sort of collage of lyrics of carnival marchinhas. “It was pretty funny because the booklet contained no information whatsoever about the recordings. I honestly don’t know why we made the booklet. There was some sort of creative anarchy behind the idea of it”, the bass player remarks.