Pianist, composer, conductor and arranger João Adelino Leal Brito, popularly known as ‘Britinho’, is known for his pseudonym Pierre Kolmann, but he has used at least ten more in just seven years. And just like Ed Lincoln, he started when he joined the label Musidisc in 1957.
Born in 1917, Britinho grew up in a musical family where he learned to play the piano at an early age. At 18 he was already working for radio stations and at 21 he began his career in nightclubs located on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, such as Perroquet, Vogue and the famous Casablanca, where he was the orchestrator and arranger of shows between 1952 and 1956. After leaving the Casablanca, he dedicated his career almost exclusively to phonographic production.
Britinho’s recordings began in 1951 and when he joined Musidisc in 1957, he was already a well-established recording artist with 28 own single and album releases and 19 participations. Until then, his name appeared on his recordings as João Leal Brito, Britinho or Leal Brito but that changed when he was produced by Nilo Sérgio.
When Sérgio founded Musidisc in 1953, he used as a producer what he had learned in the USA when he tried to continue his career as a singer there with little success. He created studio groups such as Les 4 Cadillacs, Los Latinos, The Lovers and The Masterpiece Strings, usually arranged and conducted by his musical director Edmundo Peruzzi, and he invented numerous pseudonyms for musicians in order to record them with a repertoire that mostly mixed national and international hits and styles, such as Bob Fleming for saxophonist Moacyr Silva, Os Violinos Mágicos, Henry Nirenberg for bandleader Léo Peracchi and Don Pablo de Havana for pianist/organist Ed Lincoln.
These formulas were very successful, but Britinho’s top-selling debut as Pierre Kolmann in 1957 with Para Dançar – Pierre Kolmann e Seu Conjunto (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2002) sparked great controversy with pianist Waldir Calmon’s recording company Rádio whose lawyers tried to confiscate Para Dançar from the stores as well as from the label. Rádio assumed Musidisc to have published recordings by Waldir Calmon, who was exclusively under contract with them, with the similar-sounding name Kolmann. They also considered the title Para Dançar to be based on Colman’s successful album series Feito Para Dançar. Britinho appeared to be quite indifferent to the excitement, presumably because this success under a pseudonym was simply a lucrative income. It can be assumed that Nilo Sérgio invented the name Kolmann deliberately, because the repertoire corresponded to the formula of Calmon’s Feito Para Dançar series of recording international and national hits as piano music with a small backing band – instrumental dance music with which you could create the atmosphere of a nightclub at home. As a good businessman, Nilo Sérgio had the name Pierre Kolmann protected and was therefore able to continue using it. And so the success of the Para Dançar series could continue with ten more albums until Britinho left Musidisc in 1962.
After Rádio had learned in 1958 after a court hearing that Musidisc’s Pierre Kolmann is actually Britinho, Nilo Sérgio combined him with the equally popular Trio Surdina for his eighth Kolmann album Boleros em Hi-Fi – Trio Surdina com Pierre Kolmann ao Piano.
In the same year Britinho released two more albums with alias names. The name Franca Villa appeared on the album Dançando no Estoril for Sinter with Portuguese repertoire while the album Arco-Iris Músical for Columbia was credited to Al Brito.
In 1959, Britinho began recording at least eight albums for Polydor under the name Tito Romero. As with previous pseudonyms, neither Polydor nor the covers explained who Tito Romero was, which led to speculation that it was the pianist and arranger Romeu Fossati. It is unclear whether both possibly even shared this alias.
1959 also saw the release of the album Mirian Presley e Seu Piano, a female pseudonym often attributed to Djalma Ferreira but used by Britinho for this album released by Ferreira’s label Drink.
In 1960 Britinho took the pseudonym Al Person on the first album of the newly founded label Sideral, O Máximo do Gênero.
In 1961 Britinho only released the album Quiero Que Me Beses under his own name, but no recordings using an alias name.
1962 was the year of Britinho’s last pseudonym, Al Newman, with which he recorded two albums for Som/Copacabana.
Three more pseudonyms – Milton-Z, Jone Braith, and John Britt – are sometimes attributed to Britinho but are not verified and therefore do not appear in the list below.
Apart from Altamiro Carrilho’s Turma da Gafieira (1957, Musidisc Hi-Fi 1), Britinho also worked in various studio bands, whose musicians were not credited on the album covers: Sexteto Prestige, Sexteto Espetacular, Sexteto Guanabara and Quarteto Monte Carlo.
Occasionally, Os Violinistas de Copacabana is mentioned as one of these groups. Britinho arranged the tracks on the B-side of her only album Cordas Mágicas from 1960.
When Britinho died of complications from a heart attack at the age of 49 in 1966, he had released at least 79 singles and albums. The information on this varies, but from 1957 to 1963 at least 39 of them were published with pseudonyms.
A chronological but possibly incomplete list:
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar – Pierre Kolmann e Seu Conjunto (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2002)
Including Night and Day (Cole Porter):
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar (EP) (Musidisc Hi-Fi 5008)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar – Pierre Kolmann e Seu Conjunto (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2006)
Including História de um Amor (Carlos Almarán):
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar (EP) (Musidisc Hi-Fi 5020)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar – Pierre Kolmann e Seu Conjunto (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2011)
Including Confiança (Alcebíades Nogueira-Luis de França):
→ Pierre Kolmann → Música de Caymmi em Hi-Fi (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2012)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Música de Caymmi em Hi-Fi (EP) (Musidisc Hi-Fi 5026)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Para Dançar (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2015)
Including Ouça (Maysa) featuring Toni Vestane:
→ Trio Surdina com Pierre Kolmann → Boleros em Hi-fi – Trio Surdina com Pierre Kolmann ao Piano (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2018)
Including Esperame en el Cielo (Francisco Lopez Vidal ‘Paquito‘):
→ Franca Villa → Dançando no Estoril (Sinter SLP 1749)
→ Al Brito → Arco-Iris Músical – Al Brito e Seu Piano (Columbia LPCB 37035)
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa (Prestige DLP-1001)
Including Eu Quero um Samba / Faceira / Sonho e Fantasia / Sal e Pimenta (Haroldo Barbosa-Janet de Almeida / Ary Barroso / João Leal Brito ‘Britinho’ / Nazareno de Brito-Newton Ramalho):
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa N° 2 (Prestige DLP-1002)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Novamente – Pierre Kolmann e sua Orquestra (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2028)
Including Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Jerome Kern-Otto Harbach):
→ Tito Romero → Sambas Maravilhosos – Tito Romero com Orquestra de Cordas (Polydor LPNG 4032)
→ Tito Romero → Sucessos Brasileiros em Ritmo de Tango – Tito Romero e Sua Orquestra Típica (Polydor LPNG 4039)
Including Sombras (O. Trinca-Alberto Paz):
→ Tito Romero → Boleros Maravilhosos – Tito Romero e Sua Orquestra (Polydor LPNG 4045)
→ Tito Romero → Choros Maravilhosos – Tito Romero e Sua Orquestra (Polydor LPNG 4047)
→ Tito Romero → Eles Tocam Assim (Polydor LPNG 4049)
Various artist’s compilation
→ Sexteto Prestige → Festival Prestige – Primeiro Aniversário (Prestige DLP-A-001)
Various artist’s compilation
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa N° 3 (Prestige DLP 1005)
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa N° 4 (Prestige DLP 1008)
→ Quarteto Monte Carlo → Boite a Surprise (Prestige DLP 1009)
Including Clair de Lune (Claude Debussy):
→ Mirian Presley → Mirian Presley e Seu Piano (Discos Drink LPP-DF- 13.002)
Including As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld):
→ Tony Vestane com Pierre Kolmann → Ouça (Musidisc HIFI 5008)
Including Dorinha Meu Amor (José Francisco de Freitas):
→ Sexteto Espetacular → Para Sua Festa (Copacabana CLP 11078)
Including Viva o Samba / Exaltação a Bahia / Casadinhos / É Luxo Só (Altamiro Carrilho / Vicente Paiva-Chianca de Garcia / Luis Bittencourt-Tuiu / Ary Barroso-Luis Peixoto):
→ Tito Romero → Melodias do Céu na Inspiraçao de Haroldo Eiras – Tito Romero e Sua Orquestra (Polydor LPNG 4047)
→ Al Person → O Máximo do Gênero – Al Person e Seu Ritmo (Sideral LPP 2001)
→ Sexteto Prestige → Festival Prestige – Segundo Aniversário (Prestige DLP-A-002)
Various artist’s compilation
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa N° 5 (Prestige DLP 1013)
→ Quarteto Monte Carlo → Drink Musical (Prestige DLP 1015)
Including J’attendrai (Tornerai) (Dino Olivieri-Nino Rastelli-Louis Poterat):
→ Sexteto Prestige → Música e Festa N° 6 (Prestige DLP 1016)
→ Sexteto Prestige → Sambas Exclusivamente Sambas (Prestige DLP 1018)
→ Os Violinistas de Copacabana → Cordas Mágicas (Copacabana CLP 11150)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Dance com Musidisc Vol. 1 (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2059)
→ Pierre Kolmann → Seleção de Sucessos Nº 1 (Musidisc Hi-Fi 2061)
→ Al Newman → Club dos 7 – Al Newman e Seu Conjunto (Som/Copacabana SOLP 40027)
→ Al Newman → Meu amor… Você – Al Newman e Orquestra (Som/Copacabana SOLP 40042)
→ Sexteto Guanabara → Sorvete Dançante (Musiplay LPM 1001)
Including Meu Nome é Ninguém (Haroldo Barbosa-Luis Reis):
→ Pierre Kolmann → O Romance em Bolero (Audiola/Musidisc AD-20)
→ Sexteto Guanabara → Sorvete Dançante Vol. 2 (Musiplay LPM 1106)
→ Sexteto Guanabara → Sorvete Dançante Vol. 3 (Musiplay LPM 1108)