By the late sixties and early seventies, Macalé was a solid name in the business, working mainly for other artists. He wrote songs, musical arrangements, assisted in production and recording, and organized everything concerning the musical direction of concerts and LP’s. Nevertheless, he sought to venture into a solo career; so, in 1970, he released a compact, titled Só Morto. Soon thereafter, now renowned singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso invited Macalé to record an album with him in the UK – together with other artists –, and Macalé accepted. Macalé worked as a musical director for Caetano Veloso, but when the album, titled Transa, was released in 1972, Macalé became extremely resentful after discovering his name was not in the credits.
When the bitterness was over, Macalé returned to Brazil and started working in his first full-length album. The eponymous Jards Macalé – an album containing nine tracks – was released in the same year as Transa, by Caetano Veloso, in 1972, Macalé also worked with the same musicians, Lanny Gordin and Tutty Moreno.
In the following years, Macalé also achieved moderate prominence as a soundtrack composer for films and theater plays; he is occasionally employed as an actor by some of the productions for which the music he signed the score.
Besta Fera, his most recent release, is an excellent and genuinely Brazilian masterpiece. The album has twelve tracks: 1) Vampiro de Copacabana; 2) Besta Fera; 3) Trevas; 4) Buraco da Consolação; 5) Pacto de Sangue; 6) Obstáculos; 7) Meu Amor Meu e Cansaço; 8) Tempo e Contratempo; 9) Peixe; 10) Longo Caminho do Sol; 11) Limite; 12) Valor; while this album delivers some of the more general trends that were always present in popular Brazilian music, the peculiar style of Jards Macalé is decidedly authorial and intrinsically singular. His creative sensibilities playfully disperses the harmonies among the volatile dissolutions of his soft, somewhat jazzy and fragmented melodies.
With some Bossa Nova and neoclassical elements subtlety incorporated into the dispersive and elegant structure of his music, the style of Jards Macalé is widely impregnated with the glorious, refined and exotic tonalities of sixties Brazilian music. The fourth track, Buraco da Consolação, transmits perfectly the gracious sensibilities of this peculiar type of musical atmosphere, that displays a delicate, placid and surreal tenacity, whose latent, but soft and imponderable melodies undoubtedly revitalizes the sonorous past references of a country whose high culture was definitely at the peak of its splendor.
Pacto de Sangue has a vivacious and graciously urban rhythm, whose playful guitar lines redefines the melodies over the renitent beauty of its exotic and charismatic charm. Obstáculos – with a relatively melancholic and somber atmosphere –, seems to acknowledge and project the exasperating shadows of a dying afternoon, that slowly dilutes into the vague and evasive underworld of a lugubrious life, that seems resented with the tragedy of its pale and lethargic existence.
Meu Amor Meu e Cansaço – with sensationally vivid and splendorous musical overtones that dilates the tenacity of its resigned and serene stagnant graciousness –, displays a poetic sensibility that not only understands the lucidity of its cautiously sculpted and restrained melodies, but contemplates the fugacious contempt of an everlasting disillusion, that will be forever impregnated into the consciousness of the soul.
Other songs, like Peixe, with its tender, humane and calmly smooth, captivating melody, Longo Caminho do Sol, with its fantastic choir of wonderful and amazingly tuned female voices, and Limite, with its poetic and melancholic atmosphere, sidelined by distant, despondent and dissonant guitar lines, are also wonderfully splendid tracks, that genuinely brings on the strength of its formidably consistent essence an exceptional degree of artistry.
All in all, the whole album is fantastic, beautiful and full of a genuine artistic essence, whose soul is definitely shaped over a vortex of magnificent grandiosity.
The way the artist explores sound textures and beautiful harmonies departing from guitar lines conceives a conjuncture of wonderfully creative cantilenas, that irradiates a graceful mosaic of melodies, that detaches its colorful horizons of dense and vivid serenity from the realistic depictions of a tender and sometimes despondent portrait of dramatically pungent sentimental tonalities. Evidently, Besta Fera is an album that aggregates a marvelous conjuncture of undeniable qualities to contemporary Brazilian music.