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Moraes Moreira - A Tribute

Moraes Moreira, died on April 13 at his home in Rio de Janeiro. He was 72. Mr. Moreira was the main composer in Os Novos Baianos (the New Bahians), whose early 1970s albums were both hits and cultural milestones in Brazil. Mr Bongo had the privilege of reissuing the band’s seminal 'Acabou Chorare’, as well as their debut album 'É Ferro Na Boneca!’.

"I thought I would write a more personal tribute to the life of Moraes Moreira who passed away this month, but I could not get past his immense contribution to one of my favourite Brazilian albums 'Acabou Chorare’. Having lived in Salvador you get to realise this is the album that was the soundtrack to people's lives there in the early 70’s. 1972 (when it was recorded), was the year of so many classic albums, such as ‘Transa’ by Caetano Veloso, 'Clube da Esquina', by Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges, and 'Expresso 2222’ by Gilberto Gil, but undoubtedly the greatest pop album was 'Acabou Chorare’. So well crafted and economical - a timeless masterpiece fusing the influence of Joao Gilberto’s Brazilian guitar sound with Tropicalia.

In 'Preta pretinha', Moraes Moreira draws an easy guitar line; it’s just two chords, so simple yet sublime. The mournful longing in the song (the Brazilians call "saudade") a kind of harmonic repetition expresses the feeling when an old love abandons you. With Moraes’ guitar lines you also add into the mix Pepeu's mandolin, Jorginho’s pulsating drums, the groove of Dadi's bass, all coming together in the chorus. This song book ends the album as it appears in a longer opening version then closes the album in a short punchier pop version - just because you could not get enough of it… The title track 'Acabou chorare' is another mournful number with Moraes classic refrains "No bu bu bolindo”. The album is sprinkled with these unique Moraes refrains - “zun zum”, “tin gon guin tin gon gon” and “bim bom”.

In 2007, the album topped the list of the “100 greatest records of Brazilian music” organised by the magazine 'Rolling Stone'. Worthy praise.

From his debut with the group in 1968 until the end of his life 52 years later, Moraes Moreira created a vast and powerful body of work, but it was this masterpiece with Os Novos Baianos that is the milestone of Moraes' legacy.”

David Buttle, Mr Bongo (April 2020)