Milton Nascimento

Maria Maria

Image of Milton Nascimento - Maria Maria
Record Label
Far Out

About this item

Milton Nascimento’s Maria Maria was recorded in 1974 and was unreleased until almost thirty years later. The album was written as the soundtrack to a ballet which dealt with the legacy of slavery in Brazil. Raw, atmospheric and emotionally charged, Maria Maria reveals one of Brazil’s greatest ever songwriters at his creative peak. Featuring an all-star cast of fellow Brazilian legends including Nana Vasconcelos, Joao Donato, Paulinho Jobim, and members of Som Imaginario, Maria Maria holds what Milton considers to be the definitive versions of some of his classic songs, including ‘Os Escravos De Jó‘ and ‘Maria Maria’.

Milton Nascimento possesses one of the most immediately recognizable voices in Brazilian music: high and sweet and as breathtakingly sublime as that of any soul singer. It was this voice that the legendary Brazilian singer Elis Regina fell in love with back in 1964, having heard Milton perform his song ‘Can o do Sal (Sultry Song)’ at a private party in Sao Paulo. Ellis went on to record the song in 1967 -giving Milton his first hit in Brazil and beginning a career that has spanned over 50 years.

Born in Rio on the 26th October 1942, Milton moved with his adoptive parents at the age of 18 months to Tres Pontas, a rural town in the state of Minas Gerais, 500 miles north of Rio. Milton became part of a local network of musicians, film makers, dancers, theatre directors and writers that included the journalist and song writer Fernando Brant as well as lyricist Marcio Borges and his younger brother Lo Borges. Milton’s religious upbringing as an Afro-Brazilian Catholic saw him exposed to church choral music from an early age. His love of this genre of music is apparent in both his celestial falsetto and vocal choral arrangements. This collection also displays his early fascination with evocative, non-verbal, scat-style singing, spare, harmonic guitar work and local folk music, jazz and rock.

In 1976, Milton and Fernando Brant teamed up with a new contemporary dance company called Grupo Corpo, whose Argentinian choreographer Oscar Araiz, would become a collaborator with the two musicians. Together, they conceived a show based on the composite life story of the daughter of a black slave called Maria. Nascimento wrote music to Brant’s lyrics and “Maria Maria” was premiered in the main theatre of the Belo Horizonte Palacio das Artes that year. The music on ‘Maria Maria’ was performed by an impressive group of young musicians who are today household names in Brazilian music, including Nana Vasconcelos (percussion and effects), Toninho Horta (guitars) and Paulo Moura (sax). Several vocalist including Naná Caymmi, Fafá de Belém, Beto Guedes, and Milton himself, had hits in years to come with reworkings of these songs.

TRACK LISTING

LP 1:
Maria Maria
Cozinha
Pilar (Do Pila)
Trabalhos (Essa Voz)
Lilia
A Chamada
Era Rei E Sou Escravo
Os Escravos De Jo
Tema Dos Deuses

LP 2:
Santos Catholicos X Candomble
Pai Grande
Sedu O
Francisco
Maria Solid Ria
De Repente Maria Sumiu
Eu Sou Uma Preta Velha Aqui Sentada No Sol
Boca A Boca
Maria Maria

Back to top