Words can’t describe how awesome it was that the US was able to advance to the next round of the World Cup, few people thought we could, but hey, we’re more than happy to prove them wrong. With this in mind, how about Milton Nascimento’s “Milagre dos Peixes”, released in 1973? Genuinely ahead of its time, this album is a full dive into wordless vocals and Brazilian stylistic experimentation. Originally, planned to be released with lyrics and biting commentary against the Brazilian military rule, the censors deemed it too disrespectful that they refused to let Milton release it. Rather than scrap the whole album altogether, Milton decided to re-record the vocals using various vocal techniques and experimentation (abstracting the lyrics to avoid censorship).
With the help of some his Clube da Esquina pals, mostly Milton Borges, Beto Guedes, and Nana Vasconcelos (he of Joyce fame) they created a very expressionistic Brazilian sound. The sound itself is not only deeply rooted in indigenous Brazilian music and even its sound which nails the feel of the Minas Gereas region, but also in Jazz and classic pop music. I won’t go into too much detail since the album is best detailed with the visuals it conjures as you listen to it. Some of my personal highlights are “Os Escravos de Jo”, “Carlos, Lucia. Chico e Tiago”, “Pablo N. 2”, “Tema dos Deuses”, and “A Ultima Sessao de Musica”. Around this time Caetano released “Araca Azul” a similar album trying to use experimentation to promote a different type of Brazilian sound, but I think this album does a much better job of remaining less an experiment and more an experience. Its my favorite album of Milton’s because it keeps his genuine talent at the front, sometimes he gets to carried away with either the sap, or the experimentation in later albums but here he gets it just right, and what’s there to say about this man’s voice? God knows how he came up with a lot of the sounds here. Something smoother lands tomorrow…
1972: Clube da Esquina (with Lô Borges)
1974: Native Dancer (with Wayne Shorter)
1978: Clube da Esquina 2
World Cup Prediction of the Day:
None! Thankfully, everyone gets a day of rest today.
I’ve gotta share this video showing Milton performing its brilliant title track at the Montreux Jazz Festival: