CD CARIOCA DE ALGEMA (1994) - Sérgio Cabral
Carioca de Algema, with CARLOS LYRA, is a record by one of our greatest melody writers of all times and of the composer who, being one of the most expressive names of modern popular music from the end of the fifties, commanded in the beginning of the sixties, the movement which formalized the definitive marriage of the novelties introduced by Bossa Nova with the traditional Brazilian popular music. I have not the slightest doubt that the generation of Edú Lobo, Marcos Valle, Francis Hime and, a little later, that of Chico Buarque de Holanda, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were influenced by the preachings and by the music itself of Carlinhos Lyra.
For all this, I consider the release of a record with the work of this composer, guitarist and singer a very special event. After all, we’re dealing with an artist endowed with a privileged biography, author of some of the most beautiful songs of the second half of the century and with a career that transcended the boundaries of Brazil (Jacqueline Kennedy confessed that her favorite song was Maria Ninguem, by Carlos Lyra). And, if all this were not enough, Carioca de Algema (True Blue Carioca) comes with the freshness of novelty, since almost all the songs interpreted by him have never appeared on any other CD.
And how is our Carlinhos? To begin with, I have to confess that my carioca heart beat faster with the artist’s manifestations of love for Rio de Janeiro, exactly at a moment in which the city most needs affection. Beginning with the song which gives the CD its name (lyric by the occasional composer Millôr Fernandes) right up to the passionate declarations of Em Tempo, eu te amo…, and through the sweet song dedicated to our neighborhood, here called Y-panema.
He continues to compose alone (he also prevails in the art of writing lyrics) and with excellent partners, such as Paulo César Pinheiro, Heitor Valente and Daltony Nóbrega. He also gives himself the luxury of establishing, with the help of his wife, Kate Lyra, the harmonic marriage of a North-American classic, Bewitched (Rodgers/Hart) with two classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Esse seu olhar and Discussão, this later written with Newton Mendonça
Another appearance on the record, in addition to Kate, is that of the excellent Portuguese singer, Eugênia Melo e Castro, in the interpretation of the beautiful fado Amarga Vinha. And speaking of participations, the record is enriched by the presence of some of the best Brazilian musicians executing the arrangements of maestro Antônio Adolfo.
Another good feature of Carioca de Algema—the ascertainment that Carlos Lyra traverses a phase in which he doesn’t opt for any particular musical genre. Nothing is repeated. The disc offers a panel of several musical styles, surprising even admirers like myself who weren’t familiar with Carlinhos as an author of choros, a type of music to which I dedicate special affection.
In short, Carlos Lyra remains a supreme member of the Brazilian team of our popular music.