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Dadi: Bem Aqui

Raul d'Gama Rose By

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Eduardo Magalhães de Carvalho, otherwise known as Dadi, has remained in the shadows of Música Popular Brasileira (MPB) also called the Tropicalia Movement for much longer than others of his ilk. While Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque do Hollanda, Gal Costa, Bethânia and several other artists led from the front of various ensembles, Dadi appeared to be content to play his myriad instruments—including a riveting bass and intricate dancing guitar—behind the likes of Veloso, Marisa Monte, Carlinhos Brown and others. His debut as a leader came only in 2005 when he released an eponymous record on a Japanese label.

In his relatively late debut, Dadi appeared to take his contented Carioca persona rather too far, but in the past five years his career has been gathering momentum. On Bem Aqui Dadi has created a rich stew redolent in the colors and textures of the Brazil that he loves and the variegated rhythm that is at the heart of the Tropicalia Movement—one that rocked North American for almost a quarter of a century. Here Dadi showcases not simply his instrumental skill but also his abilities as a composer, something the Movement put a heavy premium on as it was often seen as gently yet seriously thumbing its nose at the rock establishment in America.

Dadi has been consistently livening up the records of his contemporaries—from Veloso and Gil to Seu Jorge and even Mick Jagger—with sparkling partnerships. On Bem Aqui, he seems to reserve his strengths for some of his finest work. His slightly off-key tenor is wonderfully contrasted in the racy hypnosis of "Refem" and "Não é Proibído." The latter also features David Binney on alto saxophone. His duet with Marisa Monte on "Devo Lhe Dizer" is radiant as he plays indulgent counterpoint to the seductive Monte. And his duet with Arnaldo Antunes on "Voz de Comando" is memorable; both feature scintillating guitar work by the master.

On Chico Buarque's classic "A Banda," Dadi orchestrates his instruments with skill and extreme dexterity. Although he keeps the brassy nature of the song intact, he makes it sufficiently his own so as to almost re-invent it. "Por Que Não" is a plaintive ballad, set against a clipped traditional marching rhythm. "Soraya" comes as a complete surprise as it is completely instrumental, but with none of the expected rhythms, rather—like Miles Davis when he turned to his electronic music—this is a funky piece with mesmerizing rhythms set against a melody and harmony that swaggers along in the wake of brilliant guitars and keyboards. This is a nourish songwith a catchy hook.

This record is a rare—albeit short—gem from a musician who should have been given broader recognition for his compositions and arrangements long before he started recording as a leader. Perhaps Bem Aqui ought to do it for Dadi, at last.

Track Listing: Refém; Devo; Lhe Dizer; Bem Aqui; Não Tente Compreender; Quando você me Abraça; Passanda; Depois da Chuva; A Banda; Não é Proibído; Voz de Comando; Por Que Não; Soraya.

Personnel: Dadi: electric guitars (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9-12), acoustic guitars (3-6, 8, 9, 11, 12), Fender Rhodes (1, 2, 7, 9-11), Hammond B3 (2, 4, 5, 7, 9-11), Wurlitzer (4), piano (3, 5, 6, 8, 12), keyboards (3, 12), bass (7-10), mandolin (2, 8), percussion (5, 6, 8) programming (8); Kassin: bass (5-7), acoustic bass (6), electric guitar (7), percussion (7); Pedro Sa: bass 1, 2, 11), acoustic guitar (3); Alberto Continentino : bass (4); Kassin: bass (5), acoustic bass (6), electric guitar (9), percussion (9); Daniel Carvalho: bass (10), drums, percussion, programming (9); Moreno Veloso: violoncello (3), conga (12); Armandinho Macedo: mandolin (6); Pedro Bernardes: slide guitar (9); Domenico Lancelotti: drums (1-3, 11), bass drum and brushes on bass drum (3), brushes (6), snare drum (8), background vocals (1); Stephane San Juan: drums (4, 12); percussion (4); Rodrigo Barba: drums (5-7); Andre Carvalho: drums (10), bass drum, cymbals, tambourine (9); Filipe Pinaud: flute (5, 8), brass arrangements (8); Ritchie: flute (7), backing vocals (7, 11); Maico Lopes: flugelhorn (8); Altair Martins: trumpet (8); Budi Cordeiro: bass trombone, tenor trombone (8), Monteiro Jr.: saxophone (8); David Binney: alto saxophone (9); Scaleta e Chiquita: Berna Cappas; Adriana Calcanhoto: vocals (2); Arnaldo Antunes: vocals (10); Leilinha: backing vocals (3).

Title: Bem Aqui | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

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