Emilio Santiago biography
Since the 1970s, Emilio Santiago has been an institution in brazilian music. One of the few artists to have remained signed to the national Som Livre label for over 10 years, Santiago carved out a career as the mums’ favourite crooner with his series of albums called ‘Aquarelas Brasileiras’ (‘brazilian watercolours’), a series that sold over 4 million copies and were guaranteed to fill the christmas stockings of everyone’s favourite auntie or grannie. But it wasn’t always that way. Former law student Emilio Santiago’s first recordings were almost always alongside the cream of Brazil’s musicians – guest spots on independent MPB productions by Antonio Adolfo, some of the better telenovela soundtracks and an unreleased session with Luiz Carlos Vinhas from 1974. Santiago was a musicians’ singer.
From 1972 until 1975, when this record was made, Santiago’s main gig was as ‘crooner’ in Ed Lincoln’s Orchestra. As Lincoln’s long time friend and cohort, it was obvious that Durval Ferreira, (in his capacity as Artistic Director at CID) would be one of the first to recognise the extraordinary talent of the young singer; thus Ferreira signed a deal with Santiago to make this album, supported by absolutely the best players and arrangers, and singing songs by Brazil’s best composers. ‘Emilio Santiago’ is one of the jewels in the crown of the CID catalogue. whatmusic.com is very proud to present Santiago’s classic, reissued in its original form for the first time.
Translation of the original liner notes:
Emilio Santiago, like Rio de Janeiro, arrived in this world ready formed. Ready and complete, which is something very important. You can count on one hand singers born with this total craft in the southern hemisphere. Total and complete, in the way of a footballer who can score with both feet. Emilio Santiago sings anything in any genre as if he loved everything. He sings anything like it is everything. In Emilio Santiago there are points balanced in space in the same way as there are in the royal palms in the Jardim Botanico. Everything that’s placed in front of Santiago is absorbed and becomes his. A record is a record. Merely a black plastic disc with a limited number of curves. But the infinite talent of Emilio Santiago needed to be confined and defined within this finite time and space dimension. And that’s where we have the difficulty – in condensing this man and his talent into a mere record. In between lost and drunken nights in the 706 club and, latterly, in the Preto 22, the directors of CID realised that this was exactly the right moment to capture Emilio Santiago for posterity. This record is the result of the Emilio sound of today. Which doesn’t mean the Emilio sound of tomorrow, or of another future record. Emilio is a singer of rare sophistication because of his incredible honesty. As an individual he’s as sophisticated as he is modest. Big, expansive gestures, but never over the top, he smiles with a thousand and one teeth – all his own – and admits that time really is on his side.
“I really could move into many different styles but I can only go for what I believe to be a kind of truth, for something which really feels right for me. It would be pretentious of me to suggest that with this record you have a full and complete picture of my whole being. But all of the directions in this music are mine and I love them as my own. The day that I create something that’s perfect will be the day that I’ve concluded a kind of cycle. And I’ll go back to becoming a lawyer. And that is something that’s as improbable as the musical world resuscitating Paderevsky, who between being President of Poland and being a musician, chose the latter. To sum up: I’m a guy who gives out small rays of light but who hits all the right notes. These are the things I know and feel for certain, come rain or come shine”.
The musicians on this album were:
João Donato; Jose Roberto Bertrami; Laércio de Freitas; Gilson Peranzetta; Dori Caymmi & Ivan Lins: Electric piano, keyboards and arrangements.
Durval Ferreira; Hélio Delmiro & Carlos Roberto Rocha: Guitars
Copinha; Danilo Caymmi & Celso Woltzenlögel: Flutes
Formiga & Marcío Montarroyos: Trumpets
Vitor Assis Brasil; Aurino & Zé Bodega: Saxes
Edson Maciel; Edmundo Maciel; João Luiz Maciel
& Jessé Sadock: Trombones
Orlandivo & Ariovaldo: Percussion
Mamão & Wilson das Neves: Drums
Jaime & Nair; Marcio Lott; Lucinha Lins; Jurema;
Marcos Valle: Chorus
Dori Caymmi: String arrangements
Novelli & Alex Malheiros: Bass
Aécio Flavio: arrangements
Tita: Acoustic Guitar
And the rhythm sections included Azimuth and Modo Livre
Remastered by Luigi Hoffer at Digital Mastering Solutions Rio de Janeiro November 2002
Special thanks to Harry Zuckerman & Durval Ferreira
© 2003 whatmusic.com