A friend recently told me that Baião, with its characteristic upbeat, accordion-driven rhythm, is arguably the most Brazilian of all musical styles -- Bossa Nova had Classical music and Jazz infused in its Samba, which in its part was largely derived from African rhythms, and so on. I've had never thought of it, but didn't even bother to do a research. In fact, like in many folk traditions, one of the most definite (and unfortunate) indication of its "purity" must be the lack of a suitable liege to represent its legacy. And that's exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago: we lost the great Dominguinhos (Wikipedia translates literally to "Little Dominic", but I find"Little Sundays" to be more colorful), pupil and protegé of the one appropriately regarded as "The King of Baião", Luiz Gonzaga.
Unfortunately indeed, unlike his master, Dominguinhos never clearly passed the crown to any of his pupils, probably because he just couldn't find one that deserved it. Or perhaps his and Gonzaga's mission, to make Baião known around the world, was already accomplished. Nonetheless, it's not like we won't miss him, eh?
About the album, I've gladly discovered it while writing this post. It's from a popular live TV show -- there are short interviews between songs --, with Dominguinhos on the accordion, one playing the triangle and another on the zabumba drum. Raw and heartwarming, just like you'll still hear in the remotest desert-like corners of the Brazilian northeast.
ps. this song he co-wrote with Gilberto Gil is one of the most beautiful Brazilian songs I know. It's a shame there isn't a remotely proper way to translate it.