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Elenco is a Brazilian record label created in 1963 by Aloysio de Oliveira. It was a major factor in the development of the Bossa Nova styles, also releasing samba, jazz, and spoken word recordings. It is often considered as one of the most influential labels in the Bossa nova and MPB genre.
While Elenco is renowned for its output of Bossa Nova sound, the label was founded by producer Aloysio de Oliveira, in 1963, a key figure in the internationalization of Brazilian popular music. It featured several Bossa Nova records and Elenco's first releases were early MPB, and Latin Jazz, reflecting the tastes of Oliveira, who was also a musician.
Musicians such as Baden Powell de Aquino (commonly known as Baden Powell), Astrud Gilberto or Antonio Carlos Jobim, Maysa, Lúcio Alves, Sylvia Telles have recorded stellar albums for Elenco, which are today considered as masterpieces of the genre. The most significant records were released between 1963 and 1968 and are instantly recognizable through their minimalistic artwork, designed by the Brazilian photographer Chico Vilella, which often consists of a monochrome photography or painting scattered with small red dots. According by critics such Zuza Homem de Mello and Ruy Castro, the Elenco characteristic sleeve' design was heavily inspired by jazz labels as such Blue Note, for example.
These records are also noteworthy for the high quality recording techniques used at RioSom studios in Rio de Janeiro by engineer Norman Sternberg. In the beginning, Elenco was a small label, based in Rio de Janeiro. During the mid-1960s, a number of factors, including a problematic distribution dealing, caused the label to slide into insolvency, and it was purchased by Companhia Brasileira de Discos in 1968.
Many Elenco records have been reissued on CD, most notably in Japan. LP's are harder to find and are considered today as highly-priced collector items.
- Other artists who recorded for Elenco
Sylvia Telles, Edu Lobo, Nara Leão, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes, Baden Powell, Maria Bethânia, Dorival Caymmi, Sérgio Mendes, Maysa, Roberto Menescal, Tamba Trio, Lúcio Alves, Odette Lara, Sérgio Ricardo, Aracy de Almeida, Sidney Miller, Ciro Monteiro, Quarteto Em Cy, Rosinha de Valença and Lennie Dale.