Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The history of a legendary musical group.
In the early 1950s, the Musidisc record label was a pioneer in Brazil. While all the major labels were still churning out 78-rpm discs, Musidisc specialized in LPs, albeit of the 10-inch, 8-track variety.
Under the artistic direction of singer Nilo Sérgio, a discophile who had traveled to the USA and owned a record store in Rio de Janeiro, Musidisc unleashed on the market a slew of titles. The first was Datas Felizes (M-001), with Nilo, the Estrelas, and Leo Peracchi and his orchestra. Peracchi, a renowned arranger, would appear repeatedly on the labels products, orchestrating disparate recordings, from Orlando Silva singing Ary Barroso and Custódio Mesquita to collections of Portuguese songs and lullabies.
One of the first acts signed by the label was Trio Surdina, made up of the guitarist Garoto (19151955), the violinist and vocalist Fafá Lemos (19212004), and the accordionist Chiquinho (19281993). The group had acquired its name by performing on the Rádio Nacional program Música em Surdina (Music on the Quiet). Although the trios first appearance on the program occurred in April 1951, the name was not conferred until November of the following year.
Trio Surdinas recording career at Musidisc was extremely short. In just four sessions between 5 December 1952 and January 1953 they recorded the material that would find its way into their four LPs. On 5 January 1953, Fafá Lemos left for the USA. The critical accolades that followed the release of the trios LPs were all published after the group had stopped performing together.
Musidisc continued to capitalize on the name by launching many more Trio Surdina albums recorded by a different set of musicians. The label was not in the habit of dating its records, and until now its been almost impossible to sort out the provenance of all the so-titled Trio Surdina discs.
Fortunately, the guitarsit and music researcher Jorge Mello got hold of Garotos diary, pored over newspapers of the period, and was able to shed light for the first time on the trios trajectory.
Read his article here.