🎷 AotW: CTi Milton Nascimento - COURAGE (SP-3019)

All the A&M/CTi releases

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (Best)

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • ****

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • ***

    Votes: 3 23.1%
  • **

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • * (Worst)

    Votes: 1 7.7%
  • Never Heard This Album

    Votes: 2 15.4%

  • Total voters
    13

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Here's a link to a Nascimento Discography containing an interesting A&M debut produced by Tamba 4 pianist Luiz Eca.

Milton Nascimento Discography - Slipcue.Com Brazilian Music Guide
This site still exists, and therein lies an error--there was no A&M release prior to Courage.

But, he did have an album prior to Courage that was released only in Brazil in 1967--Milton Nascimento, his debut album, which was subsequently sold under the title Travessia in 1978 with variations in the album cover art when it started being released around the world.

Musically, Courage is a much-needed re-recording of many of the tracks from the debut. I'm not sure if it was a poor mastering, or a mastering made from a needle drop, but the version of the debut album I just listened to on Qobuz has poor sound quality. The pitch wavers, mainly, and it just sounds a bit off. This would have been as provided to Qobuz by whichever label reissued it.

Luiz Eça did indeed have a hand in the record (mainly orchestrations), and Tamba Trio even makes an unmistakable appearance on "Gira Girou."


Of the two albums, I prefer Courage. Nascimento's voice is mixed a bit distant compared to the debut, but the overall sound is cleaner (or at least, as clean as Van Gelder's muddy engineering could allow) and the entire production is more polished and listenable. Not to knock Luiz Eça's orchestrations on the debut, but there were a couple of uncomfortable moments; he was normally an inventive orchestrator (he was classically trained in Austria), though, so we'll just chalk that up to an experiment or two gone awry. 😁

Again, a lot of the tracks from the debut were re-recorded here, more than half. So while his debut might have been important in some ways, this is really the better of the two.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I listened to both tonight. The version of the debut I have was the Universal-Brazil issue from 2002. The recording quality is variable ranging from OK but a bit harsh to unlistenable (e.g., Morro Velro -- which sounds like the music was ran through on of those 1970s top-load washers doin' the "shakes" during the wash cycle) and definitely below-standard quality relative to the A&M/CTi CD. Regarding the music, Eca's arrangements are far more adventurous than Deodato's -- but Deodato's are more obviously musical-friendly. One problem with Travessia is the mix: Eca's highly detailed and intricate arrangements should have been a good foil against Milton's smooth legato. I'd re-work the mix; that and a better source transcription would surely bring this wonderful date up to its deserved standards.

(I rather enjoyed re-reading my 101 String references from 13 years ago...ruffled feathers and all 😉 .
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I listened to both tonight. The version of the debut I have was the Universal-Brazil issue from 2002. The recording quality is variable ranging from OK but a bit harsh to unlistenable
I think this is why I can't really enjoy that recording--the crude recording quality is so poor that I can't get past it to enjoy the music. Having said that, I'm a sucker for Eça's string arrangements, so that's a tough call there. Brazil during that era really didn't have the world-class recording studios we enjoyed here in the US.

I suppose, too, that the CTi album may have been a little too smooth but on the whole, it goes down a lot easier and I find I enjoy it more because of that.

One interesting note is that I feel as though Nascimento is singing a bit tentatively on the CTi recording, where I've heard later albums where he doesn't hold back.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Brazil during that era really didn't have the world-class recording studios we enjoyed here in the US.
Agreed. Nevertheless, most of the Elenco '60s recordings I have are acceptable -- as are the complete Philips run of Nara Leao's '60s releases.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I have the Tamba Trio recordings on Philips and Edu Lobo on Elenco, and they sound good as well.
 
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