The first time I heard this was on a compilation of Brazilian beats that Madlib, put together for The Medicine Show 2. At the time, I knew only the first few bars of the melody. Then, while looking for sounds on Flwrpt, I just happened to click on “Não Tem Nada Não” a single off the 1973 album Previsão Do Tempo (Light in the Attic). Instantly, I recognized the beat and was floored by the way Marcos Valle delivered the words. Born in 1943, and originally from Rio de Janiero, Valle began his career making traditional bossa nova and samba before traveling abroad and mixing elements of psychedelic rock, funk, and jazz. The album Previsao do Tempo was released on Odeon in 1973 with the amazingly talented band Azymuth, who made great use of electronic instruments on this entire record. Valle recorded well over twenty albums and has worked with artists such as Sergio Mendes, Milton Nascimento, Sarah Vaughan, and Tim Maia. From 1963 until now Valle has shown a consistent track record for releasing music and I hope to see him live one day.
“Não Tem Nada Não” caught my attention because of its harmony, melody, and use of synthesizers in a very natural way. It’s one thing to use synth for sake of sounding futuristic, but the way Azymiuth played the chords and the song structure is incredibly moving. When you hear it, it feels like it is moving, swinging, shifting back and forth on time. And Valle’s voice is soft while delivering the lyrics with flawless timing and an intonation that makes you feel it even if you don’t speak Portuguese. I loved it before I understood the words. In this song he talks about someone who he was in love with. Não tem nada não translates to “There’s nothing not” but I believe it means something more like “It wasn’t meaningless” or “it was not nothing.” In the song he goes on to say “Só quero lhe dizer que eu amei você” meaning “I just wanted to say that I loved you.” Valle and his brother Paulo Sergio Valle co-wrote this beauty of a song, which features Papaya Ivan Conti (drums), Alex Malheiros (bass), Jose Roberto Bertrami (keyboards), and Marcos Valle on vocals. Check it out below!