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3 Feb 2017

Marco Antonio Araujo “Influencias” 1981 Brazil Prog Folk

Marco Antonio Araujo “Influencias” 1981 Brazil Prog Folk
For my 100th review on PA, I´d like to introduce one of Brazil´s best instrumental prog ventures of all times. Marco Antônio Araújo and his band are from my hometown and they played a very unique mixture of progressive, folk, rock and classical music. Araujo, a big Beatles fan, lived in London for a time during the 70´s and when he came back he brought with him all the inlfuences that made him one of the most original and celebrated songwriters of his time. His music is quite rooted in the traditional musical forms of Minas Geraes, a state that was famous for its baroque churchs (therefore the proeminent use of the flute on most of the songs, and also the french horn sometimes).
when the record came out it was hailed as a masterpiece, and it deserved it! It´s difficult to describe the music, since it is quite original, although influences are easy to tag and goes from Jetrho Tull to Beatles, classical music, Brazilian folk and so on. Yet the results are a smooth, well crafted collection of songs. You have to hear it to believe.

He recorded 4 albums of original music and was on his way to become an international successs, when it all came to an end by his tragic death in 1986, of a brain aneuurism. But he left his mark and Influências was his first album, and one of the most celebrated ones, since it was recorded and well received at a time when instrumental prog music was not really in fashion (to say the least!). His band mates are very skilled, most of them did solo works and became much sough after studio musicians in years to come. His brother Alexandre Araújo does some great guitar solos and Eduardo Delgado proves to be one of the best flute players around.

If you like something different, instrumental progressive music, with strong folk and classical influences, this is a must have. Highly recommended! Tarcisio Moura .........

A true brazilian musical masterpiece.
Marco Antonio Araujo is probably one of the most unknown progressive music artists in Brazil. A few recognition from another fellow musicians come, now and then, but absolutely no truly recognition. His albums were only released in vynil, and then ten years later (aproximately I think with the remaster and re-organization of tracks from his brother (also a musician with classical learnings). Since then, not even another re-released. More then 20 years without any news, remastering, documentaries, etc.

The album lacks of a strong cover concept and an art that drives you to thinks... but thats why I initiated the review with the above introduction. The photograph in the front seems like an old photo, like a child photograph of you sitting in the sidewalk that your mother kept for thirty years. Giving the fact the Marco Antonio Araujo still waits to be discovered by listeners and musicians, it almost gain a context of a concept.

The music itself, far the oposite of his career and the front cover, is a total pleasure. Recalling his inluences, Marco Antonio Araujo arranges the music in his own way, with a strong progression in every one of them - from the folk to the melodic, from the melodic to the cheer and back. He is perhaps one of the best examples of such a capability of manupulating music on his favor. And the melodies are easy to identify with. As all his music is played by a professional group, nothing is loose. And what is tight doesnt bored or get you tired from repetition.

I give five stars to the professionalism, the progression and the capacity of MAA of touch that obscure spot in our minds with his melodies. And from now on, lets hope that its only in our minds that MAA will ocupy a obscure GKR.........

 Well, my dear friends, this is my first review for progarchives; although there is a long time I appreciate opinions made available here. What a large amount of bands I´ve been listening due to this site recomendations !
As being a brasilian, this first review is for the álbun and the musician whose in my honest opinion I consider the best product in our progressive music. Although Bacamarte´s "Depois Do Fim" is a must, "Influências" by Marco Antonio Araújo is even of higher quality; and not only for just one reason.

First of all, MAA has the cultural profile of those fantastic progressive musicians. He has a strong classical trainment, which appears clearly in his work (albun like "Entre Um Silêncio E Outro" - Between One Silence And The Other). Also he was a intense "flower power generation" guy, fascinated by "The Beatles and The Rolling Stones"; and these two lines forms the essence of the ideas that led to progressive movement. Second, MAA kept in his music strong elements of brasilian folk music (a very interesting kind of music); bulking this in a melting pot with classical and "roquenrou" (rock´n´roll); having as a result something strongly different from anything anyone has done prior to him. And third of all, he is a master composer, creating incredible melody lines; as for example the main theme (played by flute), of "Abertura n 2" one of the best melodic line that I ever heard in my life !!

So, I leave here a strong recomendation of a careful listening in order to really judge if "Influências" as the best effort of brasilian progressive music; by our best progressive musician. And after all, these commented qualities performs a strong reason for achieving here five stars

Antonio Giacomin...............

Multi-instrumentalist Marco Antonio Araujo (1949-1986) recorded only a handful albums before his untimely death in 1986, but in his brief career he established himself as one of Brazil's preeminent prog-rock musicians, shaping lyrical, grandiose sonic epics, often with a folkie musical tint. Before emerging as a solo artist, Araujo was a veteran of the 1970s musical and theatrical scenes -- he had gone abroad to England and fell under the spell of British rock music, which became an integral part of his own compositions and improvisations. Here's a quick look at his work...
Flowery but for-real folky prog from Brazil, with expansive electric guitars, shimmering keyboards and a lot of tootly flute. It's like Mike Oldfield, Stevie Vai, George Harrison and Edu Lobo prancing through a field of flowers together, with that guy from Jethro Tull playing Pied Piper under the shade of an apple tree... Yeah, it's pretty goofy, but I think for prog fans, this is definitely an artist to have on your radar. Araujo builds on huge, epic jam sessions, particularly the two ten-minute long pieces that bookend this album, "Panoramica" and "Folk Song", but all the songs are over five minutes and share a similarly grandiose vibe. This is considered by many to be a touchstone of Brazilian prog... and it certainly is a solid album for the genre............

Line-up / Musicians
- Marco António Araújo / acoustic & slide (2) guitars, percussion, arranger

With "Grupo Mantra" band:
- Alexandre Araújo / guitars, percussion
- Eduardo Delgado / flute, percussion
- António Viola / cello
- Ivan Correa / bass
- Mário Castelo / drums, percussion

- Oiliam Lanna / wind arrangements (1)
- Philip Doyle / flugelhorn (1,2,6)
- Amilton Pereira / trumpet (1)
- Maurício Silva / trumpet (1)
- Edson Maciel / trombone (1)
- Edmundo Maciel / trombone (1)
- Maurício Maestro / voice & handclaps (2)

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Influências (6:21)
2. Folk Song (10:36)
3. Bailado (4:59)
4. Panorâmica (10:00)
5. Cantares (5:14)
6. Abertura N° 2 (8:22)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..