Some things take time to happen, some things perhaps take a bit longer than they should but,
finally, we are delighted to present an issue of the iconic, and sought-after, Brazilian album Alucinolândia; by Zito Righi e SeuConjunto from 1969.
The trippy, surrealist 60s cover design with hands holding eyeballs is somewhat confusing. Rather than the stoner acid rock record that the art may suggest, Alucinolândia; is actually a quintessential 60s gem, mixing samba, MPB, bossa nova, quirky organ-led mod-jazz groovers and easy-listening crooners with a relaxed cool swagger.
Zito Righi aka Isidoro Righi, the Brazilian saxophonist, instrumentalist, conductor and
composer brought together an illustrious cast for this masterpiece, including the much-loved
vocalist Sônia Santos. Sônia delivers a masterclass on the album’s opener, and maybe
its crown-jewel “Poema Ritmico Do Malandro” The song is fierce and driving with an enticing
funk intro that bursts into a Samba / Batucadaworkout. A real monster that works magic on the
dancefloor. Sônia would later re-visit thistrack in 1971 on a recording for Copacabana
Records, which Mr Bongo released as part of the Brazil45 series.The Brazilian songwriter Roberval penned three tracks on the record, including another highlight and the far too short “Birimbau” a catchy Brazilian jazzy-samba dancer at its finest. Other musicians include the drummer Fernando who also recorded with the greats Dila Guilherme Coutinho.
The fact the record was released in 1969 meant it was probably a bit out of step with its
contemporaries in comparison to the works of artists such as Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil et
al. The core of Alucinolândia is that of a more optimistic early to mid-sixties party
feelgood vibe rather than the angsty,psychedelia, and rebellion of the Tropicália movement. Over 50 years since its release, the work can finally be judged on
its own merit; and what a beauty it is.