Milton Nascimento – Maria Maria
Written by Toby Taylor on 6th November 2019
Set for its first ever vinyl release, Milton Nascimento’s Maria Maria will be available on 2XLP from the 13th December 2019 via Far Out Recordings.
The Brazilian multi-instrumentalist’s album was originally recorded in 1974 as a soundtrack to a ballet which dealt with the legacy of slavery in Brazil. By this time, Nascimento had already firmly established his reputation as a talented guitarist and vocalist with the release of his iconic album Clube Da Esquina, in 1972.
Maria Maria sees Nascimento delve into more exploratory territory, driven by his fascination with evocative, non-verbal, scat-style singing, spare, harmonic guitar work and local folk music, jazz and rock. The LP is a mixture of striking instrumentals and highly evocative vocalising and choruses, as Nascimento experimented heavily with Afro-Brazilian percussion and taped jungle sounds. His composing method for these recordings was highly unconventional: “I wrote the music for ‘Maria Maria’ in a tiny Rio apartment with friends and their kids running around and having fun! I love to be in noisy places, surrounded by people”, he says.
The influence of French New Wave cinema is also particularly prevalent on the record, reflecting Nascimento’s appreciation for the art form. The solo spoken passages set to music are perhaps the clearest manifestation of these influences. “I only began composing because of enjoying the movies so much,” he says. “I wrote my first song “Peace for the Coming Love” after seeing ‘Jules et Jim’ (the cult 60s French film directed by François Truffaut), with my friend Marcio Borges. We went early in the morning and watched it four or five times in a row, then went to Márcio’s home and wrote the song.”
Maria Maria will be available on 2XLP from the 13th December 2019 via Far Out Recordings.