Summer Friday: Chill MPB from Beto Guedes
A Pagina Do Relampago Electrico
The transfixing recording below, from 1977 and seemingly only available on YouTube, might help with attainment of the tranquility pictured above.
It’s the first solo album from Brazilian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Beto Guedes, who contributed in several ways to the (now 50-year-old) Milton Nascimento/Lo Borges classic Clube da Esquina. Guedes is known for writing stirring, plaintive, disarmingly beautiful pop melodies. But he wasn’t just a tunesmith: In the early ‘70s he brought the influence of British prog-rock into his work — on his Clube pieces and also the lively four-way-street exploration simply titled Beto Guedes/Danilo Caymmi/Novelli/Toninho Horta.
That record was made around the same time as Clube. Guedes’ solo A Pagina Do Relampago Eletrico came out in 1977, after he’d contributed songs to several subsequent Nascimento projects. Things were changing rapidly in Brazilian music at that time, and Guedes keeps skeptical distance from some of the new developments. He saturates these songs with the tense vocal harmonies and pulse-quickening instrumental lightness of Clube, pouring its renegade spirit into music that is vital and profound, and brushed with just the right amount of nostalgia.
No Echo Locator next week! Vacation! Happy Summer!