|Jambul - the nickname stuck|
José Bispo Clementino dos Santos, aka Jamelão, a giant of Brazilian music. Best known for his booming voice (untrained, by the way) with its special timber, he was also infamous for his bad moods, his short temper and his sharp tongue. Identified forever with Mangueira, the samba school he got involved with back in the '40s, Jamelão was also a crooner of a particular type of samba music known as dor de cotovelo, or "elbow pain." Got it? That's right, the pain you get leaning on your elbows at a bar, pouring your sob story out to the bartender. There was never any mistaking Jamelão for anyone else. He was recognized for the panama hat he always wore, for the ever-present elastic bands wrapped around his fingers, and for a voice that simply soared.
The last time we saw Jamelão was at the Bar do Tom (Jobim, that is) in Rio. The occasion was his 90th birthday and last solo show. After a long delay, three musicians came onstage and began tuning up. More delay. Finally, out strolled Jamelão, oblivious to the loud applause, with a huge, messy pile of what looked like sheet music. He dropped the pile on a table and — inexplicably — walked back offstage as most of the pages fell to the floor. When he reappeared, it was with a full glass of whiskey. Now he was ready. Jamelão sat down, picked up the microphone and began singing. He never once looked at any of the sheet music. He never forgot a lyric, though he sang for nearly three hours. True to his second nickname, the King of Requests, Jamelão sang all song requests that were sent up to the stage by the audience. The evening was memorable and magical and bittersweet.
Of all Jamelão's recordings, in my opinion the best one is Por Força do Hábito. You can download it at http://tomjuranblogcom.blogspot.com/2011/02/jamelao.html
And what the hey, I can never get enough Jamelão. Here's another video of a dor de cotovelo song, Ela Disse-me Assim