A virtuoso pianist and composer of seminal works in early electronic and experimental classical music, Jocy de Oliveira’s musical output has had a great influence within Brazil and abroad. Her sole contribution to Brazilian popular music, her 1959-recorded album, ‘A Música Século XX de Jocy’ in many ways stands apart from the rest of her artistic oeuvre.
The original vinyl release marketed the record as adding to Brazil’s samba heritage with a ‘simple and original dialectic’, naming its style ‘vanguard samba’, which differs from both traditional samba and Bossa Nova, in its infancy at the time.
Listening to Jocy’s ‘20th century music’ in the context of the contemporaneous and vastly more influential Bossa Nova style is especially striking. Where Bossa Nova’s innovators incorporated influences from jazz and French piano music to a samba foundation, Jocy de Oliveira took a greater leap, wedding her century’s classical music to samba. Where Bossa Nova dawned a new epoch of poetic lyricism in Brazilian popular songs with great poets such as Vinicius de Moraes and themes of longing, love and nature, Jocy de Oliveira’s lyrics are concerned with scenes of urban tragedy and decay, presenting an alternative vision to Brazil’s stereotypical tropical paradise image almost 10 years before the emergence of the Tropicália movement.
The sounds and lyrics of Jocy’s landmark release still shock today. Put in the context of a conservative Brazil on the eve of Brasília’s inauguration, it is even more startling that this record ever got made. An unconventional mix of classical and popular musical influences combined with socially critical, ironic and at times journalistic lyrics make for a unique listening experience.
A unique representation of Brazilian popular music, Jocy de Oliveira’s masterpiece ‘A Música Século XX de Jocy’ is reissued for the first time. Meticulously remastered, the record is pressed on high-quality 45-RPM vinyl, with a modernised back cover and printed inner sleeve including previously unseen pictures taken for the record’s release in 1959.