Jussara Silveira and Luiz Brasil have been friends and partners for a long time. Now they share the stage in a concert entitled “Nobreza”,
the name of the song by Djavan with which they open the spectacle. With this simple but rich voice and guitar formation, the two artists present
a great selection of Brazilian music scene from different periods and composers, such as Caetano Veloso, Lupicínio Rodrigues, Luis Melodia, Vinícius
Cantuária, Chico Buarque and Dorival Caymmi.
The first collaborative album by Jussara Silveira matches her with Luiz Brasil’s guitar in a disc of voice-and-guitar duets released by Maianga Discos.
“We are just two mulattos / striking poses for photos / that the light of life prints of us,” say the lyrics of Caetano Veloso in his song “Os passistas”, the second track on Nobreza (Nobility). This album – the first that singer Jussara Silveira and guitarist Luiz Brasil have recorded together – was released by Maianga Discos.
In 13 tracks ranging from the Bahia of Jussara and Luiz – and Caetano Veloso, Dodô and Osmar, Moraes Moreira, Carlinhos Brown – to the sounds of Rio (from Nara Leão to Chico Buarque), São Paulo (Paulo Vanzolini, Zé Miguel Wisnik, Luiz Tatit), Rio Grande do Sul (Lupicínio Rodrigues), and Alagoas (Djavan, who wrote the title song), Nobreza captures Brazilian song and the essence of its sophisticated metabolism – the meeting of voice and guitar.
The result is a low flight over this country’s songwriting world, providing a sweeping overview. And the skies are bright and clear: “I convinced Jussara to record this album when we were on a plane. We were traveling the country for the Pixinguinha Project and put on the show in Rio, São Paulo and Salvador. On one of those flights, I suggested that we record a disc together. We did it all in two sessions. We have a tremendous natural rapport,” says Luiz, who produced Jussara’s first two discs.
While the album aims to present the duo with a complete balance of intentions and interpretations, the choice of repertory was spontaneously up to Jussara. Songs like Cara Limpa, by Paulo Vanzolini, and Quem há de dizer, by Lupicinio Rodrigues, have long been part of Jussara’s repertoire, with Luiz in the wings. Rosa Maria, by Aníbal Silva and Éden Silva, was a recent discovery.
“I often end up introducing the public to great songs that, for some reason, are still unknown. This was the case with Cara Limpa, that gorgeous samba by Vanzolini, as well as Rosa Maria, an old samba tune sung by the Salgueiro carnival group, which I discovered on a 1940s recording by Gilberto Alves. Lupicínio’s song is a gem, and although the songwriter is from the far south, he uses typically northeastern expressions. In some parts, he says ‘rapaz’ (boy) and ‘repare bem’ (look here) – that’s very Bahian,” explains Jussara.
Ludo Real, by Chico Buarque and Vinicius Cantuária, and Eu vou te esquecer, by Bahian songwriters Beto Pellegrino and Ariston, are from Jussara’s first album and reinterpreted here with very different intentions: “I had already recorded Ludo Real with Jussara. And Eu vou te esquecer is the only song I play on a 12-string guitar, which gives it a much more northeastern sound. It is one of the most popular songs in Jussara’s concert repertoire,” says the guitarist.
The disc also contains collaborations from Moscow, through the cosmopolitan world of São Paulo. This is the case with O sol enganador, a Russian theme adapted by a Russian-Brazilian friend based in São Paulo, Vadim Nikitim. “I fell in love with this song when I saw a Russian film by the same name and asked Vadim to write a Brazilian version of it,” says Jussara. Nikitim also wrote the lyrics of Efeito samba, in partnership with Zé Miguel Wisnik, which Jussara had recorded on Wisnik’s CD São Paulo-Rio. Another song by the São Paulo songwriter and theorist is Baião de quatro toques, with lyrics by Luiz Tatit, in which Luiz Brasil performs the entire melody of the song (inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth), before Jussara’s voice comes in.
Another interesting feature of this disc is Luiz’s vocals, melding his velvet baritone with Jussara’s crystalline soprano, as in the case of Argila, de Carlinhos Brown. In Pombo Correio, by Dodô and Osmar with lyrics by Moraes Moreira, Luiz performs an astonishing vocal solo based on Moraes’s original recording: “In these two songs, Luiz wanted to transport the band’s original arrangements to the guitar.”
Dreamed up in November, recorded the following month and released in early 2006, Nobreza will last much longer than one summer in the history of great Brazilian albums. Curiously enough, the first track was recorded before the idea for the disc was conceived. It is Um sonho de verão (Summer Dream), Nara Leão’s version of the American standard Moonlight Serenade by Parish and Glenn Miller, recorded for the sound track of Globo TV’s telenovela Alma Gêmea (Soul Mate): “It’s the starting point of the disc, the first recording we did as a clear partnership. The network liked the recording just the way we sent it – voice and guitar. And we included the original phonogram in our CD,” says Luiz.
Jussara found the title track, Nobreza, on Djavan’s Luz album. Inevitably, it gave its name to her duets with Luiz Brasil: “I wanted to dedicate this song to Luiz because of the generosity he expresses when he plays. I wanted to produce a disc in a format that is extremely bare, almost naked. At the same time, we know we have each other’s back. We complete each other musically.”