Grande Liquidação album cover
Grande Liquidação

Tom Zé

AU - Artistas Unidos

Tom Zé hailed from the small town of Irará in Brazil, where the arrival of running water and electricity during his childhood was a transformative event. His debut might scan as “country kid gets overwhelmed by the big city,” but Zé’s musical exuberance and keen eye for detail was already in effect. Grande Liquidação bustles with zigzagging melodies and jumpy arrangements, full of wry observations that include equating consumerism with the country’s bedrock Catholicism on “Catecismo, Creme Dental e Eu.” In the deceptively joyous musical theater stylings of “São São Paolo,” he sees the underlying solitude of its approximately eight million inhabitants. More tightly-wound, haywire albums (some made with homemade instruments) would follow, but Zé was an idiosyncratic force from the jump.

Andy Beta

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