Soul: Voce e Eu Reviews: Marco Mattoli – Samba Do Marcos

Written by Julia Vieira 

Marco Mattoli advances the evolutionary line of samba from São Paulo on his first solo album “Samba do Marcos”.  Marco Mattoli, known as a singer and composer of Clube do Balanço, launches the album “Samba do Marcos”, renewing the Samba tradition of São Paulo with original compositions that contribute to the evolution of samba from São Paulo.   You did not read wrong. Marco Mattoli’s new album is actually called “Samba do Marcos, with that letter “s” on  the end. Marco Mattoli adds “It’s more of a Paulista touch” and he continues “No one here calls me by my Italian name Marco, I was always called Marcos.” Mattoli began to like the name Marcos and decided to use it as his artistic samba persona. 

Several rhythms appear on Marco Mattoli’s debut album, everything from samba de roda to samba choro. There is  samba also from the interior of São Paulo called viola caipira a samba with the most cosmopolitan sound like the sounds you hear in the big city. Mattoli gives an overview of the genre with the support of people like Renato Dias and T. Kaçula founders of the Carnival block Kolombolo Diá Piratining, Roberta Gomes a singer/songwriting partner of Mattoli’s since the first album of the Balance Club of 2000.  Luis Vagner is another great name on the swing, rapper Flávio Renegado and Pelà © rico, among other collaborators and composing partners that illustrate the album.  Mattoli stated  “It took me many years to create the courage to risk a samba record.  I always thought that to record my sambas, there was still a little more road of stories to tell, of subjects to dig”. 

The production is by Jesus Sanchez (Clube do Balanço, Pelà © lico). Mattoli recalls “He helped me think about recording. we philosophized about what I wanted with this record and  we conceptualized the right sonic sound and artistic path we would follow”.  “He helped me see that the things we loved about samba were very simple, and used few instruments. So we came up with this idea of ​​a record without bass,  without any electric instruments and with a minimum of percussions possible”, recalls Mattoli about the production of Samba do Marcos.

Below are the tracks of “Samba do Marcos”, in the words of Mattoli himself, 

01 – The Name on the List by Rodrigo Leão, Marco Mattoli

When the album was ready, I have the habit of sharing it with my closest friends before casting the album into the world so I showed it to Rodrigo Leão first because he was curious about the research I did on the São Paulo samba. It made me realize that this was one of the cool things that formed the basis of this record, but for those who did not know much passed strangely between the lines. Only the experts would understand the references. There he wrote this beautiful text, this strong and direct poem, in the line of Paulo César Pinheiro and “Plínio Marcos: prose and samba.

02 – Juras by Marco Mattoli, Marcos Azambuja

I made this song when I was in my early twenties. I thought I knew some music, but of course I did not. I thought I was doing a bossa nova, on João Gilberto’s beach. The song went into the drawer, and last year I looked at it with more attention and saw that this “bossa” was a great samba song. When we recorded with an older sound, the music blossomed.

03 – Viola by Marco Mattoli, Renato Dias, T. Kaçula

In this rural samba, it is not the cavaquinho but the viola caipira. We played with words and expressions from two different African nations, Yoruba and Angola. Drum and viola caipira, combination more São Paulo impossible.

04 Gravity by Marco Mattoli, Roberta Gomes

About eight years ago, Roberta told me, timidly, that she loved to write. After much insistence, she showed me some 15 songs, strong, deep, with intuitive melodies and beautiful lyrics.  In spite of singing on everything, she is a sambista nata, those that have samba and sambistas in their family and those who  can recall hundreds of sambas. 

05 – Love Is One Word by Marco Mattoli, Gustavo Maguá, Marcos Frederico

This song has two visions about love, one fighting with the other, more cynical and bitter and the other side more poetic and dreamy. With the help of Gustavo Maguá and Marcos Frederico, stars of the Brazilian song of BH, it was their song that made me think that I should start thinking about making a record of sambas.

06 – When I saw Geraldo Filme by Marco Mattoli, Luis Vagner

Luis Vagner is a master for me, I had some good chances of talking, composing, playing and socializing with him. We have always talked a lot about the samba and Afrodescendant culture of São Paulo, the south and the interior of Brazil being considered secondary by history. It was with him that I became convinced that it would be very important to do a work that placed samba rock and the suingue as something central in a work that valued this universe of black culture of the South of the country