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Track List: 1. Ranchos Filhos & Mulher 3:08 (Lee) 2. Besteria 3:53 (Pacheco) 3. Olhar de um Louco 4:05 (J. S. Freitas & D. Mariotti) 4. Raio de Sol 6:08 (Motta, Ghy, & Moa) 5. As Criancas da Nova Floresta 18:10 (Milton) 6. Sorriso de Verao 3:00 (Lee)* 7. Flores na Estrada 2:34 (Ghy)* Bonus tracks: *6 & 7*. Line-up: Lee - vocals; keyboards Moa - flute; vocals Pacheco - guitars & viola Motta - viola Luiz - violin Ghy - basses Milton - drums & percussion; vocals (1 to 5) L. Gotti - drums (6 & 7) Produced by A. Tell. Engineered by W. L. Pinheiro at "Tempo" studio, San Paulo.
Preamble. According to the CD booklet, "As Craicas da Nova Floresta" (1977, "Nova Floresta" hereafter), was the only album released by the Brazilian band Recordando o Vale das Macas (RVM hereafter) during the first ten years of their existence. This CD reissue includes all five of the tracks from the "Nova Floresta" LP and both 'sides' of a 1982 single.
The Album. Even though the materials for the original "Nova Floresta" LP, released in 1977, were created and arranged according to the unwritten laws of Prog of the first half of the 1970s, the music that is presented on this album is highly original overall. The album's closing track, Flores, is the only song here (no instrumentals on this CD), the contents of which represent a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and either Irish or Scottish Folk music. All of the other songs on the album are of a unified stylistics, the best definition of which would probably be the following: an original, intricate, and very impressive Classic Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Classical Music. With the exception of Ranchos and Flores (1 & 7), all of the other songs on the album are richer in purely instrumental arrangements than in vocally instrumental ones, though the latter are always complex and intensive, too. Indeed, although both of the boundary tracks of the album are excellent at most points, they aren't enough intricate and intriguing to be regarded as masterworks. But then, all of the remaining contents of "Nova Floresta" are more than merely worth it. Both of Besteria and Sorriso (2 & 6) are masterpieces, though, due to the moderate duration of them, they surpass any of the remaining three compositions (that, of course, are the longest tracks on the album) and especially - beside the LP's B-side's Nova Floresta (5). However, this time I won't assert that the 18-minute title track of the album is an absolute winner here. Even though both of its predecessors: Olhar and Raio de Sol (3 & 4), don't feature massively large-scaled arrangements, both of them, as well as Nova Floresta, are not only both intricate and intriguing, but are also filled with a musical magic. Back to the album as a whole, thanks to the active use of a few violins, flute, and acoustic guitar, apart from the traditional Rock instruments, its overall musical palette, consisting of electric, acoustic, and symphonic colors, is just amazingly rich.
Summary. Yet another masterpiece from the past of Progressive! Another Classic for the Future entered the new millennium thanks to the reissue on CD. It's really great to know that in the second half of the 1970s, when the heyday of most Titans passed by already, there still were bands that played a true, original and honest, progressive music in spite of all. IMHO, everyone from the 'classic' Prog camp should appreciate, at least, the music by this Brazilian band with a long name that's a mouthful to pronounce.
VM: February 4, 2003
Rock Symphony Records:
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