Som Imaginário are the stuff of MPB mythos. Integral to Brazil’s Clube Da Esquina movement in the early 1970s, a heady blend of Progressive Rock, Folk, Psychedelia, Jazz and Traditional Brazilian rhythm flows through the three studio albums the band recorded between ‘70 and ‘73. Flying the countercultural freak-flag amid the context of military dictatorship, the Brazilian Prog lords shared much of the sense of Experimentation and bountiful Fuzz bequeathed by their Tropicalismo forbearers. But armed with genius composers, arrangers and stupendously high-level musicianship, Som Imaginário introduced a potent harmonic complexity to Brazilian popular music, which would inspire generations of artists to come.
On October 04, 1976, having finished a spell of recording and touring with Milton Nascimento, Som Imaginário performed a concert in celebration of Nature Day in Brasília. The recordings of the show would become “Banda Da Capital,” which, for the past half century, has laid dormant, waiting for its mystical power to be untapped.
In the band that day were original members Wagner Tiso and Fredera, joined by Nivaldo Ornelas, Paulinho Braga and Jamil Joanes. Operating within such a hugely creative and free-spirited scene meant line-up fluctuations were inevitable and former Som Imaginário members also include Laudir de Oliveira (who left to join Chicago), Nana Vasconcelos (who also moved to work in the US), Zé Rodrix, Robertinho Silva, Novelli and Toninho Horta.
Titled after the Belo Horizonte radio station where they would practice during their youth, the show opens with “Rádio Guarany,” an improvisation led by Paulinho Braga and Nivaldo Ornelas. The track morphs into Nivaldo Ornelas’ composition “Xa Mate,” which also opens Milton Nascimento’s Milagre dos Peixes ao Vivo album, featuring Som Imaginário and a 32 piece orchestra.
Having grown up together in Minas Gerais, composer, arranger and keyboard player Wagner Tiso had been another close musical partner of Milton Nascimento’s. Some of their work together includes many of Bituca’s most beloved albums, including Clube Da Esquina, Milton Nascimento (1970) and Maria Maria / Ultimo Trem, as well as Native Dancer: Nascimento’s album with Wayne Shorter.
The recordings were taken direct from the sound desk at the show and have been restored and mastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery, London.
Stream the whole album through the YouTube player below:
“Banda Da Capital” was released on vinyl LP, CD and digitally on June 02, 2023 via Far Out Recordings.
Purchase and Stream the album here: https://bfan.link/banda-da-capital
01. Rádio Guarany 03:42
02. Xá-Mate 01:57
03. A Igreja Majestosa 05:26
04. Os Cafezais sem Fim 07:53
05. Armina 05:39
06. Banda da Capital 11:21
07. Sábado 04:35
08. Imaginados 06:19
09. Armina (Live at Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro) 08:18
10. Manuel o Audaz (Live at Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro) 04:14
Paulinho Braga / Drums, Percussion
Nivaldo Ornelas / Saxophone, Acoustic Guitar, Flute,
Jamil Joanes / Electric Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Wagner Tiso / Organ, Electric Piano, Vocals
Fredera / Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Lead Vocal on “Sábado” (Track 7)
Novelli / Electric Bass on “Armina” (Track 9)
Toninho Horta / Electric Guitar on “Armina” and “Manuel o Audaz” (Tracks 9&10), Lead Vocal on “Manuel o Audaz” (Track 10)