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TERRENO BALDIO

Eclectic Prog • Brazil


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Terreno Baldio biography
Known by many as the 'Brazilian Gentle Giant', TERRENO BALDIO are one of the most important prog-rock bands in Brazil. Grouped in the beginning of the 70s, the band debut was the album "Terreno Baldio", which got substantial sellings although the master-tapes were lost avoiding new editions. The line-up was João Carlos Kurk (vocal, flute and percussion), Mozart de Mello (guitars), Ronaldo Lazzarini (keyboards), Ascenção (bass) and Joaquim (drums).

The band released one other album "Além das Lendas Brasileiras", a mix of rock and Brazilian folk, before disbanding in 1978. The line-up then was slightly different with Ayres Braga, replacing Ascenção.

TERRENO BALDIO regrouped in 1993 to re-record their first album, this time in English, for a release through international label Progressive Rock Worldwide (with bonus-tracks added). Line-up for this '1993 version' was Kurk, Mello and Lazzarini.

Noticeable is that more than 20 years after its original release, TERRENO BALDIO and the Brazilian label Rock Symphony recovered the original first album, still unreleased in CD. The CD release includes a folder with all the band biography, interviews, photos and also an extra folder in English aiming at the international market.

Recommended.

: : : Atkingani, BRAZIL : : :

Terreno Baldio official website

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TERRENO BALDIO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 44 ratings
Terreno Baldio
1975
3.69 | 19 ratings
Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras
1977
3.41 | 9 ratings
Empty Lot [English language re-recording of first album]
1993

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TERRENO BALDIO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras  by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 19 ratings

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Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by GKR

5 stars This album reach every soft spot of mine. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

From the well made fusion between the best of progressive rock in the same vein of Gentle Giant with brailian folk music to a marvelous cover version of Chico Buarque, "Passaredo" (and thats not a easy task, must be said), the music itself is very criative, fluid and variated, showing the best of Brazilian Progressive Music.

The choise to sing the most know brazilian legends was a ambitious task. Not only because Brazil have a lot of, and, being the size it is, but because even the most common ones have a thousand of changes bewteen them. But the lyrics achieved to highlight the intersection points of this stories (and the vocals work, especially when accompanied with flutes). Flutes, by the way, that emulates the brazilian birds in "Iara" in a magnificent track.

My mind says 4 stars, my heart go with 5.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by GKR

5 stars I dont know exactly what Terreno Baldio would count as their musical influences (I dont even know what records were avaible in Brazil in 1975/1976, since it delayed some years to some records got here), but one thing I do know: they easily manage to not sound like ANYTHING ELSE from the same period.

Maybe, MAYBE, we should see them as a sort of Chico Buarque of the progressive rock, for the complex arreangements and beautifull melodies. I have a specific taste for albums that closes with the strongest tracks, and certainly the last three are key tracks: "Quando as coisas ganham vida", "Este é o Lugar" and "grite", not only embrace you with their style and good musicianship as left you wonder of some kind of concept turning around the empty lot and the flow of life in general.

I dont think that Terreno Baldio should feature in the bottom half of brazilian progressive bands, they certainly deserve to be among the great.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a tough one to track down since it was never released on cd and the master tapes are gone. The band re-recorded this record in studio but used English vocals back in 1993. I have that and was quite impressed. This original one impresses me more though. So a big thanks to Todd who came through for me once again. Tracks 3, 5 - 7 really remind me of GENTLE GIANT from the sound of the vocals to the complex instrumental work.

"Passaro Azul" is almost RPI sounding with that beautiful sound and vocals. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes with an impressive display of instrumental work before settling back late with vocals once again. Great track ! In fact a top three along with the next song "Loucuras De Amor". It's spacey to start then it kicks in with drums, guitar and piano standing out. Reserved vocals before a minute as a flood of emotion hits me. So beautiful. "Despertar" is different as we get this funky jazz to start. It settles back with vocals after a minute as the funk comes and goes. Synths lead after 3 1/2 minutes as the bass throbs. Vocals are back 4 1/2 minutes in. The mellow sections remind me of GG.

"Agua Que Corre" is mellow with water sounds then it kicks in after a minute. Nice crisp drums and chunky bass here as the piano and guitar join in. Organ too and vocal melodies which turn into vocals. "A Volta" has upfront bass and a beat to start as it builds and the vocals join in. Excellent sound here. "Quando As Coisas Ganham Vida" has these intricate sounds that come and go and the vocals are very GG-like. "Este E O Lugar" has more complexity as the organ and punchy sounds lead. Vocals come and go along with the guitar. Impressive stuff. "Grite" is my final top three. Organ, bass and a beat lead as the vocals arrive before a minute. The vocals are passionate suddenly then they soften as it becomes very beautiful sounding. Contrasts continue.

If you don't mind the GENTLE GIANT flavours chances are you will really enjoy this. Great looking album cover as well.

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 Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras  by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 19 ratings

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Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars A slight and fortuitous shift has occurred from their debut album, as TERRENO BALDIO sounds far more Brazilian than before, and the herky jerky gyrations that earned them comparisons to GG actually make sense here. Still, it doesn't move me as much as it might given those endorsements.

At times I feel like I am listening to a MILTON NASCIMENTO album, especially in the fluid vocals styles of "Passaredo" and "Primavera". The jazz dance style improves on the middle of the pack pseudo-symphonics of their self titled effort. The album reaches its peak, however, when sounding a bit more unique than either of these variations, as on "Lobisomen" and especially "Curupira", where they come closest to leaving a distinct footprint all their own. Lively keyboard touches, funky but smooth vocals and syncopated bass and drums all propel the album along quite well. The rapid fire chorus of "Curupira" is particularly noteworthy, as are the lead guitar pyrotechnics that open "As Amazonas" even if the song itself cannot nearly do them justice.

While I'm not a fan per se, I find it hard to be overly critical of this authentic effort. With many of the less appealing aspects of its predecessor dispensed with and replaced by high quality and very eclectic Latin prog, "Alem.." may fall short of its titular promise, but is still good for 3 stars.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars TERRENO BALDIO is apparently known as the Brazilian GENTLE GIANT, but they don't seem nearly as complex to my ears. As a result, they are an easier listen, almost too easy in fact, as no matter what I am doing while listening seems to be more engrossing than this material. The sound is somewhere between GG and RPI with some Brazilian flavor to be sure.

It seems prog by the numbers to me, with calculated contrived passages designed to captivate the inner time signature nerd. "Despertar" is a good case in point, although, like several of the other tracks ("A Volta" for instance), one can discern a competent ethnic groove trying in vain to surface but being thrown a anchor at the precisely wrong moment. The most GIANT like piece is also the lengthiest, and it has its moments through the ADHD haze, but the two most successful tracks are the gentle " Loucuras de amor" which reminds me of more symphonic groups, and the more in-character "Água que corre" which seems to hit the group's quirky lyricism on a high note and includes fine vocal work.

Needless to say I'm not enthralled, but others will be, and I could understand why. My big problem is that it seems artificial, with less commitment to the composition or the song than the clever playing. That's pretty much my problem with the GIANT too. Gets an extra half star for the Brazilian undercurrents, but loses it again for suppressing them.

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 Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras  by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 19 ratings

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Alem Das Lendas Brasileiras
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I had this LP back in 1978. It was something rare at those times, a prog band doing a complete album based on the most famous folklore legends of Brazil. I can´t really say if this work came either too late (prog´s glory days were far behind) or if it was too much too soon (the mix of regional sounds and prog rock is widely accepted now, but that was not the case back then). Either way, the timing was wrong, and little atention was paid to Além Das Lendas Brasileiras. The group broke up soon after this release.

For a good, wide, explanation of the lyrics and stories on which they are based, I suggest you see Atkingani´s excellent review of the same album. He explains them with a good amount of detail (nice work, Guigo!). The music itself changed a little bit from their self titled first release, with more influences from the brazilian popular music and rhythms added to the mix. The inclusion of the classic Passaredo, written by the legendary brazilian songwriter Chico Buarque is no coincidence. The intricated, complex Gentle Giant-like arrangements are still present, but in a more subtle way. The musicanship is still excellent, but nothing´s very flashy and there are few long instrumental passages or solos. Most of their outstanding techinique and talent work for the songs, with layers of jazzy keyboards and guitars backed by a very strong and creative rhythm section. Some extra instrumentation is provided by band members themselves (percussion, flute, whistle) or guests (violin, cello, acoustic bass).

At the time I must admit that I didn´t like the record very much. I guess the music was too different from what I was hearing then and my poor stereo could not reproduce all the fine details I now enjoy when I listen to the CD version. I still think they could have made the songs a little longer, exploring more their terrific musical talents, but I believe budget and vinyl limitations prevented that. Also João Kurk´s vocal lines were quite unusual and his frequent falsetto was not everybody´s cup of tea. Nowadays I see how ahead of the time those guys really were and how good this CD is even today. Production is quite good. All the tracks are excellent and the CD has no fillers. I´m glad I found it again.

The mixture of prog rock, elaborated and jazzy arrangements, folk themes and brazilian rhythms makes this album one of the most interesting and groundbreaking albums to come from south america in the 70´s. A CD that sounds fresh, relevant and exciting even after 30 years of its original release. Surely a must have if you want to hear something that is different and yet have enough melody and song structure to sound quite familiar too. Rating: 4,5 stars.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Terreno Baldio´s first album, released in 1976 was quite a complex affair. I have to agree with the general opinion that their most important influence is british band Gentle Giant. They have lots of things in commom and the elaborated, very dense arrangements are quite similar. Even João Kurk´s vocals - all sung in portuguese - reminds me a lot of them (more especificly, of that of Kerry Minnear). But they were far from being copycats. They actually blended the influece very well with Brazilain popular music and rhythms, even if that is not easily noticeable at first. Besides, there are no vocal hamornies like GG and Mozart Mello´s guitar style is much more jazzier then GG´s Gary Green.

Having said that, it is only unfortunate that the band had distribution problems and the record reached few people (it was very hard to find in stores) even if it was very well received by critics, something rare for prog groups at the time in Brazil. The production was absolute fantastic for the time and the songwriting here is quite mature and strong. You can hear all the instruments and the balance between them and the voice is perfect. All the musicians are masters of their respective instruments and I just loved the bass and drums patterns, very technical and creative without being too flashy. They were all team players and hence, they play for the music not to show how good they are or capable of doing 13 minute solos.

If you´re into complex, GG style class of music, this is surely a must have. The elaborated arrangemnts, the odd rhtyhm paterns and the unusual vocal lines are something to be heard many times to be fully appreciated. Truly eclectic and innovative for the time. Savory, no doubt, but for special tastes. One fo the most interesting, talented and bold brazilian rock bands of the period. The music hasn´t aged a bit since then. Rating: at least four stars.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 3.5 stars...

A trully ''big'' band coming from Brazil,TERENNO BALDIO were born in 1973 and led by vocalist Joao Furk,guitarist Mozart Mello and keyboardist Robert Lazzarini.It hasn't been cleared yet when their first release came out.Most sources indicate 1975 as the year of their debut's release,though there are references also for year 1974.

Apart from this detail,''Terreno Baldio'' showcases a different side of Brazilian prog.Yes,there are folk influences.Yes,there a few South-American elements and obvious psych traces...but most noteably there are a lot of nice yet smooth interplays and great vocal work contained in here. Certainly,GENTLE GIANT are the closest comparison,starting from the fantastic twisted bass lines,the jazzy and complicated drumming,the beautiful sound of the xylophone and,of course ,the story-telling poetic vocals.However,the vocal harmonies are not so complicated as in GENTLE GIANT's works,yet they are so ethereal and delicate,an ear's heaven.Overall,the musicianship may sound quite mellow,but ,believe me,it is also really demanding and professional with balanced use of piano,organ ,complex guitar parts and the strong presence of a super-tight rhythm section.Short-lived TERRENO BALDIO will leave you undoubtfully a pleasant taste after every listening of their work.Try this other side of Brazilian prog without any hesitation.

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 Empty Lot [English language re-recording of first album] by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.41 | 9 ratings

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Empty Lot [English language re-recording of first album]
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars TERRENO BALDIO were one of the best Prog bands to come out of Brazil in the early seventies. They were influenced by YES, GENESIS and GENTLE GIANT.Their name means "Empty Lot" and the debut album is very much a rare item. It's surprising to see all the reviews for it here considering it was never available on cd. Because the master tapes disappeared they decided to re-record it in 1993 trying to be as faithful to the original as possible.The big difference is that they sing in English on the new one, the original was sung in Portuguese. Anyway I envy those who have the original vinyl of this recording. On this new edition they added two bonus tracks, both old songs that were written and composed at the time of the first album but weren't included on it.

The cd starts off with one of those bonus tracks called "Elder Mirror". It hits the ground running with bass, keys and drums standing out. Guitar comes in. Vocals before 2 minutes with organ following. Good tune. "The Place" opens with piano which is replaced by some fairly heavy guitar and drums. Vocals before a minute and i'm reminded of GENTLE GIANT here. It settles down before 2 1/2 minutes but then kicks back in a minute later. A nice heavy sound with organ before 5 1/2 minutes. "Running Water" opens with the sounds of running water. Surprising I know. Piano tinkles away before the main melody kicks in and builds after a minute. Nice guitar then vocal melodies 2 minutes in. Vocals follow.

"Scream" is a top two track for me.This just sounds fantastic as organ, bass, drums and guitar lead the way. Vocals before a minute. The piano and vocals sound great 2 1/2 minutes in. "The Return" has a Jazz flavour to it with some cool bass. I also really like the guitar before 3 minutes. "Blue Bird" is another excellent track. It's more laid back at first. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in followed by guitar which sounds incredible as bass throbs. It settles 3 minutes in with piano as vocals return. "The Sea And The Love" is the other top two song. A simply gorgeous guitar intro as reserved vocals follow. So emotional.Themes are repeated. "When The things Become Alive" has a GENTLE GIANT flavour with lots of piano. "Awakening" has a Fusion vibe to it. Nice guitar. Vocals after a minute. This reminds me of FROGG CAFE for some reason. Jazzy stuff. "Aqueloo" is the other bonus track. It's uptempo with vocal melodies, vocals follow. A good intrumental interlude before 3 minutes. Some heaviness 3 1/2 minutes in as vocals sing over top. I really like his voice.

A very solid 4 star recording that I definitlely would recommend, English vocals and all.

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 Terreno Baldio by TERRENO BALDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 44 ratings

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Terreno Baldio
Terreno Baldio Eclectic Prog

Review by progressive

4 stars Very nice Brazilian (Brazil must be mentioned) Gentle Giant, like they say, and I sign it. Maybe too light and somehow loose for my taste, but the "influences" are so wide here, in a very mixed pack that isn't really anything because it's all so mixed up (like Gentle Giant).

To me this sounds more (or maybe both equally in the whole album) Premiata Forneria Marconi (first two tracks are light and symphonic "pop") than Gentle Giant, at least until Despertar (3.) comes. It starts with jazz fusion (a bit like Finnforest), but is very GG-like (well, there's also refreshing Tarkus-like keyboard solo); bass patterns, almost all sounds and light vocals - like it was sometimes even strongly plagiarizing GG (partially the melodies can be very similar). But there's much Brazilian and jazzy things here in this album, (even very slightly zeuhlish - listen to band Eskaton and compare it to Este é o Lugar (7.) at 4:30), for example in delicate vocals and rhythms (upbeat with slower swing etc) reminds me of Bacamarte, and of course the echoes of samba here and there. The keyboard melodies' structures are sometimes very similar to Genesis. Also the folky part of GG is present, for example Grite (8.) sounds more prog folk than most that are considered o be that style and the song changing from Songs From The Wood to a some kind of waltz. Band eclects from bossanova to

Água que Corre (4.) has some irritating tunes sang, and this GG-pop doesn't really get me liking it. It should be more bombastic, not bombastic in a light form.

A Volta (5.) is compact and attacking light (well, bossanova inspirited like the whole album is) samba (in GG form again, of course, so it really isn't samba after all) and this language is beautiful and it just sounds love (By the way, listen to Elza Soares). Actually, the beginning sound more like chamber rock and arabic music.

Quando as Coisas Ganham Vida (6.) is quite weird (and short but tight), like folk music (the melodies and rhythms, not the instruments) from a place that isn't really existing, a bit monumental and oriental.

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