I remember funk Fridays. Anyway, its been a while since I posted a truly funky album. No sweat, Marcos Valle’s Vontade de Rever Você is just jaw dropping brilliant. Recorded at a time of great change in Brazil, with the dictatorship finally losing its hold on power, and a renewed optimism by its citizenry, it encapsulated a lot of the new found vibrance they demanded. The title itself harkens to this, it means “Desire to See You”. At the time of its recording Marcos Valle, had taken a long sojourn from Brazil both recording and living wise. The aggravations of censorship and the need to take a musical breather, lead Marcos to move to Los Angeles around 1974.
Marcos in 1974 had just finished recording the soundtrack to the Brazilian version of Sesame Street and for some cool novelas like “O Fabuloso Fittipaldi”, all of this harkening to his jet samba groove. However, this new change of locale allowed him to experience and dip his toe in a lot of the new laid back funk that was being created. He would help artists like Sarah Vaughn, Chicago, and most famously Leon Ware create uniquely Brazilian-influenced R&B tracks and albums. Leon Ware was coming off his masterful work in Marvin Gaye’s I Want You and his own album Musical Massage however now he was an artist running short on nerves and emotional stability. In Marcos, he saw an artist who had the same affinity as himself. Marcos was looking at the US for inspiration, and Leon at Brazil. Simpatico partners in style and temperament, they decided to create a striking hybrid of their two forms of groove.
Leon Ware’s Inside is Love and more pointedly Rockin’ You Eternally all bear the hallmark touches of Marcos’ musicality and production. These albums, full of post-disco and Brazilian smooth funk became highly influential in the work of artists like Michael Jackson in Off the Wall and Thriller, and Luther Vandross’ early discography. It was only after achieving the level of respect and notoriety for the soul music he always wanted from his peers in America, that then vaulted Marcos Valle to rekindle his recording career.
Going back to Brazil changed Marcos. Witnessing this period of great hope in his country spurred him to create his most dance oriented music ever. He wanted his people to have something they can groove to in their own language. Vontade de Rever Você was this album.
The first track starts off with the Chicago-assisted slinky old school funk gem “A Paraiba Nao e Chicago”, a rewrite of a track he gave to Leon Ware called “Baby Don’t Stop Me”. From then on the albums gets more progressive. The quiet storm slow groove of “Bicho No Cio” with subtle Brazilian vocal nods, is impressive. Then post-haste, the post-disco of “Velhos Surfistas Querendo Voar” kicks in, and man does he makes those surfers fly. Its a brilliant slice of true mind-melding grooves: Chic-like guitar and bass rhythms, spectral Valles synths, and samba drums. The instrumental “Campina Grande” then serves up a delicious slice of forro funk (with slight nods toward Edu Lobo’s work), something entirely unheard of at the time. After this track ends one of my favorite tracks begins, the majestic “Sei La”, probably one of the best drinking wine at night songs ever. Its just a romantic groove banger that seductively carries you to a sunset. I’ll highlight just one more track though, “Pecados de Amor” whose post-disco is guaranteed to make even the stiffest of zombies come to life. It encapsulates everything that made this new Marcos Valle sound so unique and joyful (Vida a toda agora! like Marcos says) plus the artist so massively influential/awesome. Also, in my humble opinion, its what makes it one of the ultimate summer albums ever.
The rest of the album is just a jam through and through. However, don’t stop there. Check out my recommend list below for more Marcos to vibe to. His next album which I added a couple of videos from, is a minor masterpiece as well. Can you tell Brazil was getting out of its funk?
– 1968: Samba ’68 (Verve)
– 1968: Viola Enluarada (Odeon)
– 1969: Mustang côr de Sangue (Odeon)
– 1970: Marcos Valle (Odeon)
– 1971: Garra (Odeon)
– 1972: Vento Sul (Odeon)
– 1973: Previsão do Tempo (Odeon)
– 1974: Marcos Valle (Odeon)
– 1981: Vontade de Rever Você (Som Livre)
– 1983: Marcos Valle [Estrelar] (Som Livre)
– 2010: Estática
with Leon Ware:
– 1979: Inside Is Love
– 1981: Rockin’ You Eternally
– 1982: Leon Ware