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Crossover Prog • Brazil

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Haddad biography
HADDAD is truly a family affair. Already a seasoned sax player with jazz and 40s/50s big bands, 83-year old Zezito Haddad joined with his two sons in the mid 80's, namely guitarist Leandro and keyboardist/vocalist Gustavo. The 'boys' then recruited a bass player, a drummer and another guitarist to form this Brazilian band that has churned out six albums since 1993. Partly vocal/instrumental, their music is very melodic, 70's style, full of lush instrumental passages in the vein of CAMEL. Their material is not complex, the band emphasizing melodious compositional contents over thematic intricacies or technical prowess.

Their self-titled debut album is rather poppish but the prog quality improves with every successive release, culminating with the excellent "Blue Notes" and "Ars Vita Longa Brevis". Lyrical guitars, sophisticated melodies, lively rhythms and lush keyboards are their main features. Add to this some wonderful sax, SANTANA-like melodic guitar lines and a discreet, elegant Latin melancholy overall and you get music full of freshness and positive vibrations.


: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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HADDAD discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

HADDAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
2.05 | 3 ratings
Blues e Outros Bichos
2.66 | 12 ratings
2.00 | 1 ratings
Blue Notes
3.60 | 16 ratings
Ars Longa Vita Brevis
3.43 | 14 ratings
Eros & Thanatos

HADDAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HADDAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HADDAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Deuses, Anjos, Homens & Bestas

HADDAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

HADDAD Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eros & Thanatos by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.43 | 14 ratings

Eros & Thanatos
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The sixth album from this band from Brazil and a very big chunk of new music too.

There is a five years long gap between this and the previous album. Eros & Thanatos being a double album and over ninety minutes long, I take a wild guess and take it that these ninety minutes is the sum of five years song writing.

Haddad's music is pretty uncomplicated prog, bordering to pop/rock. If you are into intricate details and masterful use of instruments; do not bother about reading the rest of this review. This album is not for you. What you get here is a lot of piano based ballads mixed up with some half speeded up songs. Some of the music is dangerously close to be considered housewife pop. But most of the music here is what we safely can label as music for those who have lived a while. That means rocking chair, finger biscuits and tea. Nurse alert; I guess I will enjoy this album far more in 20 years time than now.

The music is not without some nice details though. Although some of the music here is dreary piano ballads, some of the music is also full of small interesting details. Mostly when the keyboard is fired up and is let loose with some fortissimo jazz inspired melodies. That's when even a middle aged man like myself enjoys what comes out of the speakers.

In short; this album has it's good and bad sides. But the overall quality is good. But let's say I will wait some years to play this album again. Ninety minutes with this type of music is a bridge too far for me. A belated three stars and a memo to my local retirement home.

3 stars

 Ars Longa Vita Brevis by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.60 | 16 ratings

Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars The title of this album is an expression credited to Hippocrates loosely meaning "art is long, life is short". Life may be short but the Haddad family knows that music can span and link generations. Here the group has attained a level of maturity and comfort with their broad influences, from 30s swing to 60s pop to modern progressive, combined into a palatable deliverable. If their output could only reflect the excitement inherent in their cultural fusion, they might be better known. Well, this is prog after all, so perhaps not.

One of the weaknesses here is the use of not one references to American cultural and political phenomena in "Roma Atomica", which is otherwise an intriguing cross of MOODY BLUES, CHICAGO, and ALAN PARSONS. Contrast this to the radio ready "Reddish Bonfire" which eclipses any sell out inferences with its melancholy air and yet uplifting melody. The best of the ambitious long pieces is the album closer "Dança Das Águas", which is also the most overtly symphonic piece, even as it includes Zezito's lovely sax and plaintive guitars from Leandro Haddad. CAMEL and QUIDAM are conjured in some of the best passages. In general, Haddad slavish attachment to somewhat tacky detrimental to any claim to excellence, but they are clearly working on it. Also, they don't have a lot of tracks where the vocal and instrumental prowess are on display simultaneously.

An improvement on earlier efforts, "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" takes the long view of its art and music, gently unfurling a pleasant if only moderately engaging legacy that nonetheless aims to outlive a lot of what we hear today.

 Ars Longa Vita Brevis by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.60 | 16 ratings

Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Very interesting prog band from Brazil that makes a mix of various influences like symphonic rock, blues, jazz, pop and more. The result is a captivating array of songs that defy easy classification: not very complex, but tasteful, well crafted, well arranged and melodic. Most of the tracks are short, very keyboards driven. Lyrics are in portuguese and english, but unfortunatly the vocals are a problem: while Leandro´Haddad´s voice is not really bad, it is clear the band would benefit a lot if they had a ´proper´singer instead of a guy who just can sing in tune and nothing more. On the plus side the music is basicly instrumental and in this field they are skilled and very talented.

The production is quite good. There are no fillers and the songwriting in general is very fine. Ok, nothing is really new or groundbreaking but those are quite versatile and the album is quite varied, showing the band members can handle different styles without problem. I guess they could be a little more bold in the arrangements since they are so good, but it seems they are still inthe process of building their own sound and I found Ars Longa Vita Brevis a very enjoyable album. If you like eclectic, melodic prog, go for it. 3,5 stars.

 Ars Longa Vita Brevis by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.60 | 16 ratings

Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer


Ars Longa Vita Brevis is surely the best album of this amazing family band so far, and i must say that i am impressed. Haddad is from my home state capital Vitória of the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, and that is why they amaze me so much. My home state have absolutely no tradition whatsoever in progressive rock and maybe Haddad is the only progressive rock band of Espírito Santo still, even after being around for more than a decade because, like i said, there is absolutely no tradition at all. Knowing that, and listening to this amazing album for the very 1st time i was completely shocked and without any reaction, because of the export quality of this band and because it is still very unknown.

The music here, as i said before, is very interesting. Being very keyboard driven, since the main composer is the keyboardist, following the line traced in Orion, but the music here is much more worked and well composed than in orion, giving the album the piece of unique that every good progressive album need. Another interesting thing is that the classification neo-progressive is quite untrue here, since only few musics resemble neo-prog, being most of the album some kind of bluesy progressive rock with a bit of 60's traditional rock and roll. By the way, the last track is actually a re-recording of a music released on Gustavo Haddad's solo album back in 89'.

The lyrics are, at least, noticeable. They are private to every music and create a little story on every music, except on roma atômica, which is a direct critique to United Stares expansionist war politics and weapon hegemony.

Overall Rating: a very good album made by the little family band, with solid music and noticeable increase to the previous album. 4 stars 4 sure.

 Orion by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.66 | 12 ratings

Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars In an era where progressive rock groups have to keep their day jobs and rarely get past a second album, Brazil's Haddad has produced 5 CDs of keyboard dominated neo prog since the mid 1990s. Their trump card is that they are aware that their music is not complex, and they don't try to pretend it is, which places them a rung or two above the average British neo act, but this still isn't exactly stirring music.

While almost everything here is good, little is especially memorable. For instance, the lengthy opener flits from one theme to another on likable fat synthesizers like a person trying so hard to be pleasant that they forget to be interesting too. Very little here beyond the sparsely used vocals seems to belie the Brazilian origins of the band, and this is unfortunate as well. An exception is "Sweet, a folha seca", which conveys some tropical sensuality, especially in the vocal sections. "Far from Home" is an exception to the generally tranquil approach, featuring tasty lead guitars and, while it is somewhat out of place, it works fairly well thanks to some fine playing and singing.

As the album rolls on, the formula of alternating pace of various keyboard themes gets tired even by Haddad's own mellow standards, although the closing suite finds some redemption. But Haddad's style on Orion depends too much on new age themes that, while appealing enough, seem to dwell in the realm of the superficial even after multiple listens. Hence my decision to round down to two stars, since good prog should be a little more imposing.

 Ars Longa Vita Brevis by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.60 | 16 ratings

Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars It was here, with this release, that I met HADDAD for the first time: the pleasure of hearing this album made me get back and seek for other previous band's works. There's a happy-end story behind it when talking about progressiveness - now they reached the point and they reached hugely! Every prog-thing is clearly noticed within "Ars Longa Vita Brevis": the concept, a mix of life & death with mankind at their lowest entropy point and. above all, art, the surviving whaler amid the wrecked ship of a decaying civilization; the arrangements - prog at its purest and best; the musicianship of band's member; the general atmosphere ranging from dark to poignant but leaving a feeling of grace and enjoyment.

Opening track, the title-song starts either thunderous and mournful, synths and sound effects provide the show that continues with some beautiful symphonic parts, catchy and agreeable in a way that a weary soul is easily carried to the stars. Piano, guitar, bass and drums work in harmony, the short sax interlude is amazing, vocals are great and the banquet is completed with nice lyrics. HADDAD set their guns in a grand manner.

The next track, the mini- epic 'Roma atômica' acts like a suite for the first one, the link between the songs is clear but now the sound is somber just like the grave singing voice. The band show their claws with the astonishing instrumentation, an appreciable achievement after so many years on the road. The majestic and sorrowful solo segment brings remembrances of PENDRAGON's 'Masquerade Overture' and goose bumps are inevitable.

Other album's tracks are average to good but not in the same level of the beginning double. 'Pinky's boogie' has a folk flair making it looks like HARMONIUM's 'Dixie'. 'Reddish bonfire', sung in English, is a soft ballad backed by hard guitars and interesting choir. The short 'Sierra Maestra' is a kind of pop-electronic-salsa filler. 'Saara' is a bit weary while 'Trianon' is agitated and even danceable with its funk rhythm. Album's near final part includes the half-exotic and half-rocky 'San Francisco Bay', the romantic-to-be 'Ismalia'. 'Dança das águas', the closing track, returns to the good ol' symphonic prog, this time blended with folk and nice inserts of hard-prog and fusion - a pretty farewell to the album, an expected so long to the band.

If there's a band yet to be discovered by the prog-crowd I believe that HADDAD poses as a fair candidate and "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" can be the admission ticket. Two first tracks and the final one are clear masterpieces but the album as a whole isn't although it's close to it; let's wait their next release. will it come?

 Orion by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.66 | 12 ratings

Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars And then HADDAD gave a step forward in terms of progressiveness - "Orion", their 3rd studio album, is really the first we can dub as progressive, and their entrance in the style was great, leaving no doubt about the way they chose to trail. Brothers Gustavo and Leandro, the "new" generation of the Haddad family are the main actors here, counting with a special guest (Marcelo Maia, guitars) and short participations from listed and non-listed buddies, including other Haddad people.

The fairly discernible presence of synth sounds throughout the album is the more noticeable deed when compared with their previous output but actually there's a flagrant sensation of some connection among the songs resulting in a kind of concept that exudates from the tracks; the atmosphere is generally sour, poignant, sorrowful, even when some passages are intended to be uplifting.

As observed previously, production is fair and the band members' musicianship is leagues above the average. As a consequence, "Orion" is a very palatable work and if one adds the already mentioned high progressive content, the result is enjoyable.

Opening and ending tracks are mini-epics dealing with the same motifs (madness, weird dreams, scatology, modern life), and carrying the same signature. Both songs, 'Prelúdio do ópio/Ópio da razão suficiente' and 'Por onde vagam os sonhos/Delirium' show a plethora of what we like most in the prog-rock scene: beautiful symphonic tunes, agreeable neo-prog interludes, some delicate folk spices, well-shaped vocals, intense flow of keyboards, nice guitar playing. Either are the best album moments.

In addition, the album contains other fair songs: 'Desobediência kármica' is soft and warm, more romantic than truly progressive but interesting. 'Orion', the title-track, could be situated between neo-prog and prog-related with some stylized tunes reminding CAMEL or late 70s GENESIS. 'Roda da História' sounds like an ambient track while 'Far from home', sung in English, goes in the opposite direction, being a pure blues-rock with Southern guitar riffs. 'Abnormal' is too short not to smell like a filler but the main theme could be better explored: the mixture of synth and tambourine is exquisite and catchy. 'Sweet, a folha seca' is the happiest track here and the weakest too. 'Palácio dos Espelhos' is simply audible and 'Farewell blues' keeps the good album balance with nice instrumentation and general climate.

This release may finally fulfill the taste of any prog-fan even the most exigent, being a good starting-point for HADDAD's progressive output, not exactly a non-essential album but indelibly good.

 Blues e Outros Bichos by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.05 | 3 ratings

Blues e Outros Bichos
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

2 stars Vitória, the capital city of the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo, is a fine and charming city, with a population around half a million inhabitants. The city lies apart from the powerful Rio-São Paulo cultural axis and also cannot be compared with other important centers like Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte and Recife, but anyway I can testify that Vitória never gave up and have produced its own musical crops. Being my maternal family rooted in the mentioned state I had the opportunity to spend there (state & city) many of my school holidays during my childhood, adolescence and youth and together with fond relatives witnessed a varied array of acts originated there. But in fact I never saw too much progressive or prog-rock tendencies, being the capixaba* people much more into the hard and heavy rock streams.

That said, I was amazingly surprised when I discovered HADDAD, via ProgArchives. how ironic it is! Obviously I started to research and beginning with the band's 2004 release "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" I went backwards till their second album: "Blues E Outros Bichos" (Blues & Other Beasts), a 1997 production. I did not come across their debut album but I'm quite sure that just like this one, the content is a cornucopia of different sounds and styles: blues & good ol' vintage rocks, ball-room tunes, soft ballads and love songs, new wave spices and a light and almost meaningless prog aroma. The atmosphere takes us directly to 50s, 60s and early 70s - not prog at all, but very amusing.

To be noticed are the production, very neat, clean, professional and the band's musicianship: these kids aren't rookies. Vocals are part in Portuguese and part in English and since the natives of Vitória have no hard accent when speaking/singing in their native language, the result in English is to say the least, interesting. Forgetting the prog index we face truly a fair release, recommended for some relaxing hours.

'Madness', the staring point, emulates some r&b and blues songs and gives the tone for the album. 'Por que é sempre assim', is a fine hard rock, late 60s style, with a short symphonic interlude, exquisite and catchy. 'Confuso Carneiro' does some reference to astrology (Carneiro = Aries) and shows a good ball-room dancing ambience. 'Mais-valia genética' reminds me some typical Brazilian rocks of the 80s, with that clear new-wave background. 'Guerra' is another soft rock, provided with some protest- like lyrics and now the late 60s touch is dominating.

'Camburi blues' starts album's 2nd part in a cool manner and I may tell you that the atmosphere has everything to do with the beautiful Camburi Beach, specifically before it was invaded by the city expansion. The short 'I'm leaving you' is another track that sends the hearer right to the 60s. 'Prece' has good guitar sounds and fine vocals acting like a modern prayer (in fact the track name). 'Vida' is an average song with a fine funk beat. 'Sunset Boulevard' is refreshing and 'Mankind', the ending point, seems a homage to many bands that have influenced HADDAD.

All in all, "Blues E Outros Bichos" is a very enjoyable album, but considering its almost zero prog-rock content it'll only please band's fans and eventually some collector. HADDAD would show their progressive claws in albums yet to come and to be reviewed furtherly.

* capixaba = native or resident of the city of Vitória, also extended to all Espírito Santo state beings.

 Ars Longa Vita Brevis by HADDAD album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.60 | 16 ratings

Ars Longa Vita Brevis
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by WaywardSon
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album takes the listener on quite a trip! It starts off with a funeral scene, and you can hear a priest saying "Ashes to ashes...dust to dust.." which is a bit gloomy, but there is also someone singing "I´m singing in the rain...just singing in the rain!" at the same time!

This sets the scene for disturbing, yet comfortable listening. The band transport the listener to another place, with soothing music that pulls the listener into a completely different state of mind. The lyrics are in Portuguese, but the music actually does the talking and puts one in a dreamy brooding state of mind.

"Roma Atomica" is quite political and you can hear G W Bush saying "If you are not with us, you are against us" They are obviously not too pleased about the current American Government and the state of the world in general! Actually, I found out that I have to be in the mood for this music, but once you start listening, you are pulled into another world. They also have a "tropical" sound and feel to their music. Great instrumentals with floating guitar sound (yet, quite raw sounding at the same time), and crystal clear playing, that I imagined myself on a deserted beach at sunset with the band playing right by my side!

For those who like to experiment and aren´t afraid of breaking out of the mould, this album is for you. To have the abilty to transport the listener into another world is what progressive music is all about!

 Deuses, Anjos, Homens & Bestas by HADDAD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.00 | 3 ratings

Deuses, Anjos, Homens & Bestas
Haddad Crossover Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If you ignore the extremely ugly front cover to the CD-booklet, you'll find beautiful symphonic rock coming out of your speakers. If I saw this album in the record store, I would never ever think about buying it. The reason is that it is showing an ugly beast like man both on the front cover, the back cover as well as under the CD-tray. To me it looks more like a bad heavy metal album from the 80's than a symphonic rock album. Fortunately the music is the opposite of the horrible booklet pictures. HADDAD is playing dreamy, floating and beautiful symphonic rock with many lengthy instrumental passages. It isn't hard to understand where they got the band name HADDAD from, as three of the member's last name is HADDAD. A very good Brazilian band!
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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