Rodrigo James was in a popular record store in San Francisco, United States, when he found the double album “Clube da Esquina” on one of the shelves. Alongside this was a coin written by one of the employees, describing the work as “one of the most important works that mankind has ever done”.
For the journalist and music critic, lavish praise from a foreigner, some time after the release of the album that launched the movement led by Milton Nascimento, Le Burgess, Marcio Borges and many other names, sums up the best quality of “Clube da Corner”: the timeless sound.
“It’s unbelievable that an album of this quality was made in 1972. It would have been made today,” says James, author of “Coração Americano – Bastidores do Álbum Clube da Esquina,” organized by Andréia Estanislau. The album was released in March of that year and printed the DNA of the music of Minas Gerais.
“Clube da Esquina” means ground zero for music Made in Minas Gerais. I started getting a face, and it kind of created a genre. You can listen to the recording and select influences from the Beatles, jazz, and afro styles, but this mix generated something really new, flavored with Minas Gerais,” highlights the critic.
James recalls that every participant on the record—a long list that also includes Fernando Brant, Beto Guedes, Toniño Horta, Gustaveto, Ronaldo Bastos and Wagner Tissot—had a background, and that eclecticism set the tone for the production, based on absolute freedom, without any idea that something was too creative. He will get out of that confrontation.
“That kind of freedom, inside the studio, usually tends to go wrong. It’s very unbelievable that it worked so well precisely because it had no limitations. There was no charge and everything went smoothly, without any conflict. No one expected To be an immortal work after 50 years,” he points out.
“The record just fell apart” when Ronaldo Bastos – the closest record number to an executive producer – walked a few blocks away in Rio de Janeiro, right after the release in stores, and heard the tracks being played indoors. “Go get it!” Bastos concluded. A critical success that traveled the world.
“The people who listened, deified. Many people know Milton (who have already launched four LPs) There from this disc. The sale was not successful, but it was to be expected. At the time, record companies had more famous artists to fill their coffers and the ability to produce this type of project,” he says.
Also noteworthy, according to James, is the fact that Clube da Esquina is not described as an official movement by its members. “There was no aesthetic statement or anything like that. With Melton as the accumulator, a group of friends knew each other and were integrated throughout the process.”
“Prone to fits of apathy. Problem solver. Twitter buff. Wannabe music advocate.”