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José Mauro – obnoxius

Posted on: September 2, 2008

After some hours of diggin´ in a lovely second hand recordstore I bought a whole bunch of vinyl, mainly brasilian flavoured music from the 60s and 70s. The owner recognized my interest in brasilian music easily and we talked some time about the LPs I was going to buy, he also strongly recommended me José Mauro. I never heard of this guy and he told me what he knew about him, after some time he ran away and came back with the José Mauro CD, “for you, have fun!”

Back home I first listened to the “obnoxius” record, the first and only record from José Mauro who died before the release of the album in a car accident. First impression: okay, that is nice, but not as good as expected.

But of course I remembered his words: “The record is wonderful, but it takes a while to really grab hold of the beauty within.” Wise words, I grabbed the CD a lot of times in the weeks after my shopping tour and played it. Every listen I got deeper into the beauty of the record, it is worth a try.

After José Mauro´s death the promotion of the record was cancelled, the record was never sold commercially until it was rereleased decades later. Today a lot of people talk about the record as one of the best albums recorded in Brasil at that time (recorded 1970). And there wasn’t much happening in music outside Brazil from whom Obnoxius needs to hide. In fact, the album is a triumph, but until today not earning the attention it is worth.

Grand orchestral Brazilian pop, influenced by Bossa Nova and brasilian folk, yet dissimilar to the established paths of back then as much as now. Composed by Jose Mauro and Ana Maria Bahiana, arranged by Gaya and recorded with the particapation of many famous brasilian musicians, the songs were new and unorthodox.

Jose Mauro reached with his melancholy but confident baritone such depths and in the songs there are passages where the music seems to reach a state of stasis. Only slow, impressionist chords shifts and the orchestrations make progressions, and a deep sadness is evoked. That such a young man can reach those depths, which would seem to require experience, is a marvel. This was the first record for José Mauro and sadly also his last, it is a sensation to record such music as debut. There’s that aura of innocence here, when a young talent reaches for the sky even though he is still in many ways unexperienced. And there’s that grandezza of those Pop albums that transcend the limitations of formated Pop and reach the level of true art.

Canção Da Casa Illuminada


11 Responses to "José Mauro – obnoxius"

Great review. I can’t wait to listen. Thanks!

This one was a hidden treasure, no one ever mentioned this guy and it was quite surprising. Great music, it sounds like Construcao by Chico Buarque, even more Brazilian than caetano veloso, again , great album.

I’m from brazil and never heard about this guy!
Thank you so much!

¡Microfonos ha Vuelto compipa!

it is always a great pleasure to get some satisfied responses, stay in contact, in the next days some updates will follow

Just came upon this record today and dying to add it to my collection!! The links are down, is it possible for you to update them? Many thanks!!

Superb blog.

I’ve read that a lot of music sharing blogs are deleted by wordpress and I’m afraid to be forced to restart my blog at elsewhere, could you tell me about that?

hey italo, there is a risk, of course. some people say it is higher for wordpress, but I´m still alive for more than 1 year now, but this is a small blog with all records at least one year old and almost no major record stuff, I think that might be a reason, good luck and always back up 😉

[…] you´re into brasilian (soul) music you will love this record, but I can present you almost no information about the […]

A fantastic record, one of these records that never wear out for me. If there was one record that deserves the tag grower it is “obnoxius.

I have listened to a lot of brazilian music but never quite heard the magical, mysterious sadness that surrounds the tunes on obnoxius. One can only wonder what he would come up with, what a tragedy that he died so young.



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