Diary of a Record – Gods in Brasil Wednesday 15th

Lisbon to Warsaw

I met Kassin at Lisbon airport early in the morning. He’d flown direct from Rio the night before and we planned to complete the last leg to Warsaw together and catch up on the four hour flight.

Rather than watching Netflix I listened through again to all my demos, the ones I’d shortlisted and the around twenty others in a reserve list.

The Wrong Songs…

But of course the Portugese national airlineTAP (which means Take Another Plane) had other ideas and despite paying for seats to sit together via their useless app, in reality Kassin was stuck in the back next to two old guys.

The day before leaving Rio Kassin had called and said ‘let’s go through the list of 19 songs and I’ll tell you which ones I think will work best in an album context.’

It was at that point that I realised he’d been working off a really old shortlist and not the one I’d sent to Macio Moretti and Alberto Continentino.

But, actually it was a revelation because Kassin was considering songs that I’d cut from my list and giving me really good reasons why some should be in and why I should actually cut others to form the best group of songs for the overall sound of the record.

No ‘Gods in Brasil’ on Gods in Brasil

The cuts included what had been slated to be the title track – ‘Gods in Brasil’!

So we agreed on a bunch that were on both our lists: Eu Não Vou Mais, Juanito Caminante, Shangri La, Um Tema Perdido, Tutti Frutti, Sorriso de Manha, Puma 72 and Erasmo Szabo.

Eu Nao Vou Mais was the only cover on the list. Written by Durval Ferreira and Orlann Divo in the mid 60s and a staple of the Ed Lincoln group’s Saturday night ‘bailes’, I’d spoken to Durval and Orlann years earlier about covering the song and played a demo for him and daughter Amanda Bravo around 2005. Now both of writers had passed on so I would have to get permission from the publishers to make my English lyrics ‘official’.

Alberto Starts Thinking of Arrangements

For the songs that made the list we made notes on what kind of instrumentation we wanted and sent the notes to Alberto who was still in Rio, so he could get started on ideas for writing the arrangements.

We arrived in Warsaw to torrential rain, took the world’s smallest ever Uber ‘XL’ (a Skoda Fabia!) to our old school style guest house in the leafy suburb of Miedzylesie east of the city and close to the studio at Macio’s house where rehearsals were set to take place over the next few days.

My BBC engineer friend Adam Askew also landed a few minutes after us, but at a different airport. I’d sent him a link for the tickets from London without realising there were two airports in Warsaw – doh! Sorry Adam.

Studio Moretti

Macio has a great set up at home, a studio with some great vintage gear and a live room for rehearsal.

We went to grab some great food at The Vegan Ramen Shop, and organised the itinerary for Thursday (check out Polish Radio Studio S4/6 a quick dig through Polish jazz vinyl reissues and then rehearsals with keyboard player Piotr Zabrodzki) before crashing out for night.