Marcos Valle more worldly than ever

Songwriter puts out three CDs in 2001 - one in Europe, one in Canada and another in Brazil - and gets ready for touring

Rodrigo Faour
João Donato is not the only bossa nova maker who has decided to work like crazy upon the turn of the millenium - Marcos Valle is also filling up his schedule for 2001. He is going to release three albums in three distinct markets and perform the respective tours. The first album is ready to go: Escape is going to be released in Europe on the English label Far Out Recordings; and the tour kicks off on March 13 in Denmark. Chances are that the disc will come out in Brazil.

The second CD was recorded live in Montreal (Canada), and Marcos appears along with guitarist Victor Biglione. The album should only come out in Canada. The third disc, though, is exclusive for the Brazilian market, and is also going to be recorded live, early in March, along with Roberto Menescal and Wanda Sá.

Escape is the only one out of the three albums that carries new songs, and therefore is the most awaited both by the press and by the fans, since Valle has been talking about it for a while. It is the follow-up of the acclaimed Nova Bossa Nova (1998), which brought the singer back to recording studios after a 12-year break. DJ Joe Davis, owner of the label Far Out, is responsible for spreading Marcos' name throughout Europe, playing his music in jazz clubs in London.

"There are only new songs in the album, and the lyrics are mine, too, except for O Índio É o Brasil, a classic bossa tune which I wrote with my brother, Paulo Sérgio, and Vinícius Cantuária", reveals Valle, who decided to name his album Escape because "it is a musical word all over the world. Besides, it sounds outward, like an understatement of a different kind of music."

Marcos believes that Escape is "one step ahead of Nova Bossa Nova". "My new songs still feature that combination of bossa and my pop and funk taste, where there is space for the baião. But there are a lot more vocals in this album. The other CD was 60% vocals and 40% instrumental. This here is 80% vocals"he says. To accompany him in the journey, Marcos lined-up Mamão and Alex Malheiros, respectively, drummer and bassist of the band Azymuth. The legendary drummer Wilson das Neves was also invited. To reinforce the beats, Robertinho Silva added his percussion, based upon sounds made out of wooden objects.

New sambas
Such careful approach to the rhythmic section is explained. "Although I'm a sucker for harmony, I am also into the rhtythm, the groove. I am very percussive when I play the keyboard, for example, I love the swing. That's where I recognize myself in João Donato", says Valle, who is especially keen on two Brazilian genres: the samba and the baião. "To me, baião is as important as the samba. When I was a kid, I used to love baião, my parents had all those Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro LPs. When I began studying classical piano, I also learned to play the accordion, so as to perform the baião". For the new album, Marcos wrote the baião Festeira. "Robertinho Silva's wife, Aleuda, appears in this track doing vocal effects, along with my back-up singer, Patrícia Alvi."

Marcos also wrote two sambas for the album: Apaixonada por Você and On Line, whose lyrics were inspired by Marcos' children's interest in the virtual world. "I have two children who are into this Internet thing. That makes me think of the love affairs, the escape from the physical attraction, which many times is just some desire that fades away too soon. Over the Internet, on the other hand, an apparently cold, electronic environment, things start with conversations that can develop into something interesting", states Valle.

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