Genre: Bossa Nova, Pop
Territories: Europe excl. UK
Availability: July, Oct - Dec
Valle's talent was evident from his high school years, which coincided with the height of the Bossa Nova movement in Rio. His classmates included future legends like Edu Lobo and Dori Caymmi, and his composition "Sonho De Maria" was included on the Avanco album by the highly influential Tamba Trio in 1963. With his brother Paulo Sergio Valle as his lyricist, he had already built an impressive portfolio of songs, prompting the Odeon label (a subsidiary of EMI) to sign him to a recording contract. His debut album Samba Demais was released early in 1964. His reputation quickly spread, and his contemporaries on the music scene (including Wilson Simonal, Elis Regina, Nara Leão and many others) lined up to record his songs. A second album, O Compositor e o Cantor, followed in 1965, and featured the debut of what would become his most recognizable song, "Samba De Verão" (known in English as "So Nice (Summer Samba)"), as well as other instant classics as "Deus Brasileiro," "Gente" and "A Resposta."
1966 brought Valle's first trip to the United States, where he and his then-wife Anamaria teamed up with the also recently-emigrated Sérgio Mendes briefly in an embryonic version of what would later become the latter's hugely successful Brasil '66. The threat of being drafted and sent to Vietnam caused him to return quickly to Brazil, however, although the following year saw him return and have a more positive experience which included his debut American release "Braziliance!" on Warner Bros. Records, several appearances on the Andy Williams TV show. Following session work on Verve Records releases by compatriots Walter Wanderley and Astrud Gilberto, the label released Valle's "Samba '68" album featuring English-language versions of assorted songs from his earlier Brazilian releases.
Shortly thereafter, feeling homesick, Valle returned to Brazil and entered a new creative phase in his career. 1968's "Viola Enluarada" album was a more introspective affair, with Valle's songwriting attaining a more mature and reflective tenor far removed from the frothy and lighthearted feel of the "Samba '68" album. The title track became one of Valle's signature compositions and was a duet with the up-and-coming future icon Milton Nascimento. It also featured a surprising political bent previously absent in Valle's work, and the album as a whole pointed to a broader range of musical influences that moved him out of the box marked "bossa nova artist."
This process continued on 1969's "Mustang Cor De Sangue Ou Corcel Cor De Mel," another leap forward that incorporated rock, soul and pop styles, all stamped with Valle's unmistakable melodic style. His work here reflected the sophisticated pop approach of American songwriters such as Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach as well as the inescapable influence of The Beatles.
Around this time, Valle was tapped to create theme music for assorted TV programs and "novelas" (soap operas), which over the next few years would become one of the main outlets for his work, along with advertising jingles. 1970's "Marcos Valle" (often referred to as "the Bed Album" due to its cover shot of Valle in bed) was his most adventurous effort to date as well as his most rock and psychedelic-influenced music up to that point. Backed by Milton Nascimento's backing band Som Imaginario, Valle explored a more eccentric approach, with a number of futuristic tracks and an extended instrumental suite not unlike the work of U.S. composer/producer David Axelrod. 1971's "Garra" was a career highpoint, a pop masterwork that summed up his music and still stands as one of the finest pop albums of the era, Brazilian or otherwise. Its effervescent pop/jazz/soul/bossa/film soundtrack musical styles were matched by lyrics that attempted to reconcile Valle's hippie leanings with his status as a wealthy young musician who was also a successful businessman because of his successful novela soundtracks and corporate advertising accounts. Telenovelas he provided some or all of the music for during this period included "O Cafona," "Minha Doce Namorada," "Pigmalião 70," "Os Ossos Do Barão" and, most prominently, "Selva De Pedra."
1972's "Vento Sul" album found Valle long-haired and bearded, and backed by the progressive rock band O Terço. His most experimental and left-field effort to date, it was something of a sales flop, although it has accumulated many admirers over the ensuing decades. The following year's "Previsão Do Tempo" fared better and was an innovative effort made in conjunction with the band who initially formed to back Valle at live shows and named themselves after one of his songs, Azimuth (soon to change the spelling to Azymuth). This album had a notable jazz fusion influence due to Azymuth keyboardist Jose Roberto Bertrami's expertise on the Fender Rhodes keyboard and assorted synthesizers such as the Mini-Moog and the ARP Soloist. This sound would later prove a decisive influence on the Acid Jazz scene in Europe twenty years later.
In 1974, Valle provided the music for "Vila Sésamo," Brazil's version of Sesame Street. He also released his final album on EMI, another self-titled effort. This album differed yet again from its predecessors in pursuing a piano-pop sound reminiscent in turns of Elton John, Todd Rundgren and Bread, and replete with elaborate vocal arrangements. At this point, Valle had grown tired of the strictures of living and working under Brazil's military dictatorship, then in its darkest and bleakest phase. He therefore decided to return to the U.S., where he spent the rest of the decade. Settling in Los Angeles, he entered into collaborations with artists as diverse as Sarah Vaughan, Chicago and R&B singer and songwriter Leon Ware. Valle and Ware found themselves especially compatible, and wrote many songs together, Valle appearing on several of Ware's Elektra album releases.
Valle returned to Brazil and completed two albums, 1981's Vontade de Rever Você, and 1983's Marcos Valle, which featured the hit single "Estrelar": a boogie dance track marketed as "workout music" at the time, which proved to be his best-selling record ever with a total of about 90,000 copies sold. In more recent times, Estrellar has seen something of a revival and was recently used in an advert for Southern Comfort. Valle’s early 80’s albums had prominent soul and funk influences. These had been present in Valle's work since the beginning of the 70's and would be permanent influences on his music, also being solidified by his work with Leon Ware and Chicago. Valle recorded another album, 1986's Tempo da Gente, and then took a hiatus from recording.
In the meantime, many collectors had become acquainted with Valle's work of the '60s and '70s, and his music started to enjoy renown among European and American fans, as well as connoisseurs of dance music. Valle recorded a new album in 1999, Nova Bossa Nova, which reached back to his roots in bossa nova and added contemporary electronic influences to his music. At this point Valle had signed with the London-based Far Out label, which specialized in the recordings of Brazilian musicians such as Azymuth (his backing band on 1973's Previsão do Tempo) and Joyce. In 2001 Valle also produced two other discs, Live in Montreal with guitarist Victor Biglione and a backing band, and Bossa Entre Amigos, a release aimed at the Brazilian market that featured Valle sharing the bill with famed Braziilian guitarist and songwriter Roberto Menescal and singer-guitarist Wanda Sá.
Escape, and especially its follow-up, Contrasts (released in 2003) showed increased electronica influences, aided by the production skills of London-based electronica producer Roc Hunter. Valle showed on these releases that he was able to stay true to the roots of his sound, but also remained open to modern influences and possessed the ability to integrate them into his style. On 2005, Valle released Jet Samba, an all-instrumental collection, highlighting reworked compositions from past albums, as well as several new songs. Valle continues to perform in Brazil and throughout Europe.
In 2010, he released Estática, an album which saw him return to a more organic approach, albeit with the use of some analog synthesizers. The record features expansive horn and string arrangements and has been referred to as a 'masterpiece' by some. In 2011, he collaborated with the Phenomenal Handclap Band to contribute a version of the song "Tudo o Que Você Podia Ser" to the Red Hot Organization's fund-raising album Red Hot + Rio 2, proceeds from the sales of which were donated to fight AIDS/HIV. In more recent years, Marcos Valle’s music has been appropriated by a number of high profile hip-hop artists, including Jay Z who sampled ‘Ela E Ela’ for “Thank You” on his ‘The Blueprint 3’ and Kanye West ft.Pusha T, who sampled “Bôdas De Sangue” on ‘Cruel Summer’. Other notable names who have sampled Marcos Valle include Madlib, Joey Bada$$ and Arrested Development, among many others. Marcos Valle continues to tour Brazil and Europe.
• 1963: Samba Demais (Odeon Records)
• 1965: O Compositor e o Cantor (Odeon/EMI)
• 1966 : Braziliance (Odeon)
• 1968: Samba '68 (Verve)
• 1968: Viola Enluarada (Odeon)
• 1969: Mustang côr de Sangue (EMI)
• 1970: Marcos Valle (Quarentão Simpático) (EMI)
• 1971: Garra (Odeon)
• 1972: Vento Sul (EMI)
• 1973: Previsão do Tempo (EMI/Odeon)
• 1974: Marcos Valle (No Rumo Do Sol) (Odeon)
• 1980: Vontade de Rever Você (Som Livre)
• 1983 : Marcos Valle (Som Livre)
• 1986 : Tempo da Gente (Arca Som)
• 1999: Nova Bossa Nova (Far Out Recordings)
• 2001: Escape (Far Out)
• 2002: Bossa Entre Amigos (with Roberto Menescal and Wanda Sá)(Albatroz)
• 2002: Live in Montreal (Rob)
• 2003: Contrasts (Far Out)
• 2005: Jet Samba (Dubas)
• 2008: Conecta ao Vivo No Cinematheque (live)
• 2010 Estatica (Far Out)
"An album’s worth of tunes, riffs, hooks and rhythms that are timeless and effortlessly hip"
"A classy exercise in the timeless"
Marcos Valle & Band
Line Up (2017):
Marcos Valle - Keyboards, AC Guitar & Vocals
Patricia Alvi - Vocals
Jessè Sadoc - Trumpet & Flugle Horn
Renato "Massa" Calmon – Drums
Johnny Copland - Bass