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A BARCA DO SOL

Prog Folk • Brazil


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A Barca Do Sol biography
A BARCA DO SOL were active between 1974 and 1981. Their music is a sophisticated mostly acoustic, complex chorus driven type. The band consists of Jaques Morelembaum, a cello player, David Ganc, a flautist, Ritchie, a flautist, Nando Carneiro, a violinist, and the two brothers Muri Costa and Marcelo Costa. The band seems to be folk-influenced, but due to the type of instruments used they are a bit similar to JETHRO TULL.

Of course, it would be wise to start with the album "A Barca Do Sol", which is a double album of their first two LP's in a CD reissue.

If you like folk, or inventive instrumentation, then A BARCA DO SOL are definitely recommended.

: : : Daniel Potter a.k.a. "Retrovertigo", U.S.A. : : :

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A BARCA DO SOL discography


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A BARCA DO SOL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 24 ratings
A Barca Do Sol
1974
4.09 | 28 ratings
Durante O Verão
1976
3.58 | 15 ratings
Pirata
1979

A BARCA DO SOL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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4.17 | 5 ratings
Dois Momentos: A Barca Do Sol / Durante O Verão
2000

A BARCA DO SOL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

A BARCA DO SOL Reviews


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 Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Durante O Ver'o consists of mostly agreeable Brazilian folk music, but a little bland for my taste. The instrumentation and sound are consistent to a fault. Those with an affinity for Harmonium or the folky side of Gentle Giant should spring for this record.

'Durante O Ver'o' Pleasant classical guitar and flute ease into soft-spoken vocals. The cello and shakers add depth to a friendly tune.

'Hotel Colonial' Here lies a darker, more avant-garde approach complete with complex vocals not unlike Gentle Giant's convoluted harmonies. Gypsy-like percussion and violin craft a whirlwind of sound together. A fluttering flute dances in the tempest.

'A L'ngua E A Bainha' This acoustic track plods along with thudding bass, soft violin and sunny singing.

'Os Pilares Da Cultura' Hammering piano brings in a full band in this jazzier rock and roll song.

'Karen' What sounds like metalworking in a jungle gives way to tranquil flute- not particularly interesting but a decent interlude nonetheless.

'Memorial Day' Voices, percussion and strange guitar passages suddenly stop and the song proper begins, featuring mellifluous vocals and rustic violin. An acoustic guitar duet and more of the Gentle Giant-like vocals make an appearance before some experimental jazz business.

'Banquete' This light folk song is reminiscent of Simon & Garfunkel. Violin and flute dance together in a festive manner. Clean lead guitar joins in over the original peaceful music toward the end.

'Belladonna, Lady of the Rocks' Swerving in and out of acoustic and heavier passages, the penultimate song of this album has an early King Crimson flavor to it before charging off into a gritty electric guitar solo.

'Outros Carnavais' Rapid acoustic strumming and airy vocals introduce further flute and violin cooperation.

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 Pirata by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.58 | 15 ratings

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Pirata
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Pirata was the final CD released by this interesting brazilian band. In the late 70´s prog music was stuck in a rut, so many artists started to look for other ways to deliver their works. The band was fired by their recording company after two LPs that did not produce substantial sales. So, the original Pirata Lp was an independent efford and showed the band shifting to a more traditional path. By this time cellist Jacques Morelebaum had left the fold and his presence is sorely missing. However, the songs were good and showed some promising, even if at the cost of their terrific originality.

All band members were outstanding musicians, capable of tackling almost every style. But this is a very much a record bearing the traditional brazilian sounds of the time: there are sambas, sertanejo, ballads, instrumentals and so on. Nothing that reminded the boldness of their early works. Even the lyrics are more down to earth here. And, sorry to say it, almost not prog at all. It is all very well done and played, of course, but clearly they were trying to reach a more radio friendly approach at the cost of some of their identity: they sound too much like what a lot of artists were doing by the late 70´s in Brazil. Small wonder the record was ignored by public and critics alike.

If you´re looking a for a good, simple, straight brazilian folk rhythms with some prog influences here and there, you should listen to this one. Those guys were skillful and the songwriting is above average. But it is far less challenging and progressive than the two previous ones.

Rating: 2,5 stars that I will round up to 3 for the great musicanship of all involved.

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 Dois Momentos: A Barca Do Sol / Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
4.17 | 5 ratings

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Dois Momentos: A Barca Do Sol / Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Definitly a must have. A remastered reunion of their classic two LPs in one CD. Charles Gavin did a wonderful job on this record, bringing together two lost prog gems of the 70´s. The booklet reproduces - as much as possible - the covers, lyrics and technical data from the original releases. The sound is crystaline, very well balanced (and a rarety of the time, for those LPs had the right producers, who really understood their sound) and you get two for the price of one (it´s even low priced! At least when I bought mine). A Barca Do Sol is a very underrated band who happens to have some of the most skilled musicians of the country, even if they were quite young then. No wonder they all made solo albums, became studio aces and/or arrangers for other artist in the following years.

I won´t bother with details about each LP (if you want that, see my reviews about the band). It´s interesting that the songs were even put in the original and chronological order. So you can follow their earl, almost total acoustic music of the debut to their more rockier (for their standards) and progressive Durante O Verão of two years later. Great acoustic guitar passages, fine cello and flute arrangements, beautiful vocal harmonies and strong musicanship of all involved. If you´re into prog folk (and to some extent into the italian symphonic prog) you should check this CD.

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 Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Quite an improvement over the self titled debut of two years ealier. After the change of bassist and flute player, the band turned a little more electric and melodic (the title track is a good exemple of how they could be featured on the radio without selling out, a possibility that unfortunatly never happened). The music on this album always seemed to me as very similar, in parts, to what a lot of italian bands were doing at the time (so, italian symphonic rock fans, you should check this out!), maybe because the use of same acoustic instruments. Now the band was using real drums and much more electric guitar turning their sound more progressive than really folky.

The production was once again good for the time and the music is quite bold and inventive. There are some great flute passages, creative use of cello and some fantastic assorted percussion instruments. The vocal harmonies are also more elaborated and interesting, sometimes bordering some Gentle Giant-like arrangements. Although very short (only 30 minutes), Durante O Verão (during the summer, in portuguese) stands as one of the most unique prog bands to appear in the 70´s. Too bad the band never made it in commercial terms (they were fired from the label after this record for not selling enough copies of their albums). I had the original LP at the time and, at 16, I was intrigued and fascinated by their music which mixed rock, folk, prog, classical and some avant gard elements.

They proved their force some two years after this LP when they played on all the tracks, backing singer Olivia Byington on her Correndo O Risco LP. Only 19 years old at the time, Olívia had a stricking beauty and a spetacular, classical educated voice. She rerecorded many of the group´s stuff and even achieved an underground hit with Lady Jane (not the Rolling Stones tune, but a song that was included on A Barca Do Sol´s debut LP). The critics praised that record and it is considered as much their album as it was hers. A truly prog masterpiece, it is now quite rare, but well worth to buy it if you happen to find it. Durante o Verão e Corra O Risco are probably the most underrated prog works done by a brazilian band during the 70´s, even if they were both released by major recording labels.

Excellent addition to any prog music collection. 4 stars.

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 A Barca Do Sol by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 24 ratings

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A Barca Do Sol
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is a very interesting album by one of the most underrated brazilian bands of all time. It´s almost totally acoustic, with some great guitar, cello and flute passages. Percussion is also very well done. The vocals are ok, though. They sometimes remind me of the legendary Secos & Molhados, but surely A Barca Do Sol lacks the vocal prowness of a Ney Matogrosso. Nevertheless, they made some excellent music, a kind of acoutic prog music, very much song oriented, but still quite bold for the time (including the surrealistic lyrics, written by poet Geraldo Carneiro). All the musicians are skilled and almost all of them would leave their mark in the Brazilian music scene in the following years. Cello player Jacques Morelebaum (only sixteen at the time) for exemple, would go on to become one of the most celebrated maestro and arrangers of the country, he would latter work with such legends as Tom Jobim and Caetano Veloso.

This debut LP was produced by the celebrated artist and multi instrumentist Egberto Gismonti (who also played synthesizer in two tracks, but it is hardly noticed). He did a fine job, and the recording quality is great for the time. It was well preserved in the CD format, fortunatly (specially if you buy the two LPs in one CD version, together with their second album).

The album is not really a masterpiece, though. It is very good and quite innovative for the time, but this one is for the prog folk clique only. Those quite obscure lyrics and the sometimes dissonant harmonies are not everyone´s cup of tea (which is probably the reason they never reached a wider audience). Anyway, the CD is very well worth a listen and certainly will please anyone who´s interested in the acoustic side of prog. With tight arrangements and not much noodling, they deliver some precious short songs that still are quite demanding for the average player. Sometimes less is more. 3,5 stars.

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 A Barca Do Sol by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 24 ratings

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A Barca Do Sol
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is actually their worst, believe it or not!

It is really impressive what a good research can do, and the guys of A Barca do Sol know it. Being all of them born and raised in Rio de Janeiro they had to do a lot of research about traditional brazilian folk music to develop their music until they could present this album. Of course, there is also a good dosage of classical music influence also, specially when you see the instruments they used, like cello, violins, viola and piano, when actually the instrument usually used in traditional brazilian folk music is the rabeca, some kind of badly made violin.

Some people argue that this band has some Tull influence and that can maybe me true in this album, specially because of some flute parts that indeed remember Ian Anderson. However, the influence stops right there because, unlike Jethro Tull, the music presented by the band is very soft and sweet, unlike the folkish ahrd rock made by Tull. In fact, it is quite hard to understand why this band is classified as progressive rock since it lacks the ROCK department, using mostly acoustic instruments like acoustic guitars and the mentioned cello, violas, violins, piano and flutes.

The lyrics here, like the lyrics of their next album, are good poems talking about many different themes. The poetry here, in fact, only cares about making beautiful poetry, and thats it.

However, there is a problem with this album: it is kind of raw, when compared to the other works of the band, like Deopis do Verão and Pirata, and that is why it only deserves 4 stars.

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 Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This album right here is and this band right here are one of the few prog folk that i find amusing to listen. Depois do Verão is actually, to me, the second best album ever in prog folk, loosing only to thick as a brick, because it embraces the traditional Brazilian folk music, which have big variety: the caipira music, the black music and traditional folk music from different states of the Country.

The lyrics really art for the art, having no concern whatsoever i making any social or political critics. They basically talk about love, nature, life, every day things, and a lot of smaller things. However, the lyrics fit quite well on every music context and story, uniting great music and great poetry, making the album really very pleasant to hear.

Another great quality of this album is that the musics are quite straightforward. That means that the musics have some objectiveness and don't simply goes modulating a theme and doing variations, like most progressive rock albums.

Overall rating: joining amazing music, terrific poetry and the right amount of objectiveness this album is sure a progressive rock masterpiece, a Brazilian prog rock all time classic, and a must have album for anyone who desires to know Brazilian or even south-american progressive rock, and not only prog folk.

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 Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars I knew this album existed since the beginning of the recorded times but I had never the opportunity to listen to it until a couple of years ago. 30 years of good moments lost in the dust of time! Well, for my comfort, it's good to know that I'm still ready to hear it as long as I wish from now on. Great! A BARCA DO SOL "Durante O Verão" is a really a great album and worth the price and the hearing. However, it's tough to transcribe into words of a different language so many references easy to be picked up by a Brazilian or for some foreigner that lived here time enough to understand clearly all hidden subjects, all cryptic issues, all delicious puzzles. I'll try to do my best, maybe it'll work.

Here A BARCA DO SOL dived deeply into the folk spectrum, this time adding general Latin American spices to the notorious Brazilian substrate - a dangerous feature since this mixing may border confusion but in the end the band knew how to manage it. Noticeable are the flow of odd instruments, sound effects and lengthy singing parts (in Portuguese) but vocals are soft and acceptable even if one doesn't catch the language and the weird tunes are mainly incidental not spoiling the overall good atmosphere. Anyway, Morelenbaum's cello dominates the scene almost all the time.

From the different tracks presented, the mini-epic 'Hotel Colonial' deserves a special look not only for being the best album track but for the story it keeps; the song does reference to two other classical Brazilian popular songs: 'Luar do sertão' and 'Chão de estrelas', both clearly impregnated in the soul of each citizen hereunder the Equator (well, at least for those that were born before 1970). The intro is sampled from the first of the mentioned songs while lyrics run referring to the second. Subtly observed are some touches of classical composer Heitor Villa-Lobos in the background. Middle section brings weird and interesting drumming action challenged by exalted violin backing, all finishing with an uplifting flute solo accompanied by a massive instrumental work. Quaint and beautiful at the same time.

'Durante o verão', the opening track is warm and gentle: fine lyrics, fair arrangement and fancy vocals. 'A língua e a bainha' is poignant and dreamy, provided with majestic fingered guitars and somber ambience. 'Os pilares da cultura' completes the album's first half with a neat hard melody and frantic vocals - A BARCA DO SOL rock face is displayed con gusto here. 'Karen' is short and serene, a fair intermezzo.

'Memorial Day' initiates the album's second half with a blatant space rock air, reminiscent of Pink Floyd while the rest is a collage of the band's own sounds, nicely disposed. 'Banquete' is clean and exquisite showing band's romantic side and again full of references now related to Beatles and singer Milton Nascimento. The 'Eleanor Rigby' samples are decorated with classical and folk delightful aromas. 'Belladona, Lady of the rocks' the longest song here, is sung in Portuguese in spite the English title and it's the track where the A BARCA DO SOL present their most experimental portion. 'Outros carnavais' ends the album like a flurry of a furious and fierce folk festival - funny and fantastic.

What to say? Another hidden gem lost in a shelf of distant and pleasant times - so difficult to get, so hard to find. But do not hesitate, seeing "Durante O Verão" go and grab it since it's an excellent addition to any music collection.

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 A Barca Do Sol by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.92 | 24 ratings

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A Barca Do Sol
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Now is the moment where I have to silence my heart to be able to hear my mind. but it's tough! Listening to A BARCA DO SOL, and more specifically their homonymous 1974 debut is like doing a regression to some of the most beautiful days of my youth years; also some hard moments when my beloved country was ruled by a dictatorship may be displayed there. I had to hear and re- hear again and again "A Barca Do Sol" and I have to confess that goose bumps and wet eyes appeared frequently. Anyway, life goes on.

What band were they? To be short: simply a fine group of some of the most talented musicians who played in Brazil in the 1970s. Jacques Morelenbaum, leader, cello player and main vocalist, is nowadays one of the most celebrated Brazilian maestros; Ritchie, an English-born artist, soon engaged with legendary band Vimana (hard-progressive stuff with only a single issued) and later trailed a new-wave singer career; the other fellows, like Nando Carneiro, Beto Resende and Alan Pierre, are all of them Premier League people; last but not the least, the producer and inspirational personality, Egberto Gismonti, a giant that needs no introduction. Another curiosity: they started playing as a backing band for a bossa-nova singer - very weird!

What kind of music did they play? Folk or folk-progressive, doubtless. Although they were basically city guys it's clear that they researched a lot to grab all possible sounds emanating from Brazil's heart of the country. Lyrics are great, very introspective and a bit sour, but generally with fine poetry; on-line translation cannot help here, unfortunately and even experienced translators may have some problems with so many references that are hard to display in a different language. There's a torrent of singing parts which may frighten foreign ears but the musical solutions are awesome: cello, viola, flutes and guitars work splendidly.

All songs keep a certain resemblance among them providing the album with a conceptual soul, not totally right unless you could focus the action in its related time - tough if you don't live the place and time. 'A primeira batalha', the opening track is an exquisite and amusing song, with a noticeable South American aroma which is pretty and pleasant. 'Arremesso', probably the best album's track, is full of reminiscences with its poignant and sorrowful vocals and accompaniment; this particular song is when my heart beats franticly for so many remembrances of lived times.

'Lady Jane' shares the title with the Stones' song but it's really another one and a good one too - the Brazilian way is so typical and remarkable that the tunes become clearly catchy. 'A Barca do Sol', the title-track and ending song is unique and where the band show their skilful and capacity. Other album tracks are, trust me, from average to good.

This album presents some of the best progressive moments produced in Brazil during the 1970s and even not being a masterpiece, it's very recommendable to be added to any music collection.

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 Durante O Verão by BARCA DO SOL, A album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.09 | 28 ratings

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Durante O Verão
A Barca Do Sol Prog Folk

Review by Henrock

5 stars Being a Brasilian, my opinion about this band, came from my living in this wonderfull country. In this album, the band shows some folk elements of Brasil, mixed with some progressive lines, that is seen on the guitar, the flute, and on the keybords. The lirics by the band came from the poet Geraldo Carneiro, and if you understand portuguese, listen to it with carefull. Another interesting thing about this band, is that the great brasilian musician, Egberto Gismonti, help the band, and even paly synth in some musics. I can say (in my humble opinion) that this is one of the greatest brasilian prog bands, and this album is the sample of their growing on music. All of their albuns are special, and in this progarchives discography there's one missing; an album of them with Olivia Bignon, that is intituled "Corra o risco". From those who like the band, worth to search for this album, that is another masterpiece of progressive music.

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