The Rummage

Tag: Brazil

. issue XXIV : iii .

. artist : vinicius cantuaria & bill frisell .
. album : lagrimas mexicanas .
. year : 2011 .
. label : eone music .
. grade : b minus .

Lagrimas

Vinicius Cantuaria is a New York City-based Brazilian singer-songwriter-guitarist-percussionist whose unique music straddles the worlds of MPB (Brazilian popular music), jazz and the downtown New York scene. Here he’s in a collaborative duo with Bill Frisell, one of the great jazz musicians of the current era and a man with an equally wide range of interests – the two previously worked together in Frisell’s excellent band The Intercontinentals. Neither musician occupies new ground here – rather they meet at the midpoint of their interests on some tuneful material that emphasizes Cantuaria’s expressive singing and Frisell’s beautiful guitar melodies and loops. Not a breakthrough recording on the order of Frisell’s Have A Little Faith or Nashville, but a high-quality outing that’s pleasing on the surface and reveals additional depth on further listening, like the best Brazilian pop music.

by Bill Lupoletti

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. issue VI : vi .

. artist : tim maia .
. album : nobody can live forever: the existential soul of tim maia .
. year : 2012 .
. label : luaka bop .
. grade : a plus .

TimMaia

Here is Luaka Bop’s long-awaited compilation of the music of one of Brazil’s most remarkable stars. In the early 1970’s, when Brazilian music was dividing into two camps (nationalist Tropicalia and Música Popular Brasileira versus internationalist rock ‘n’ roll), Maia invented an entirely new mode: the black Brazilian soul man, connected to Africa and to the USA’s civil rights movement and drawing musically on the entire African diaspora. His 1970 debut solo album arguably marks the beginning of the Black Rio movement and took the idea of ‘samba-soul’ to a new, more funkified level. Maia’s musical heroes were James Brown, Isaac Hayes and Barry White, and Maia’s persona and appetites were, like those of his idols, larger than life. For American audiences, Maia’s music is unique in the Brazilian catalog — his songs fit right in with your favorite 70’s R&B jams. For examples, listen to Tim’s take on the ‘Mr. Big Stuff’ rhythm in “Do Leme Ao Pontal,” the deep funk of “O Caminho Do Bem” and “Nobody Can Live Forever,” the “The-Sound-of-Philadelphia”-meets-Rio sound of “Bom Senso,” or “Over Again,” reminiscent of Bill Withers or Terry Callier. Nobody Can Live Forever is a great compilation of an artist you’ll want to hear.

by Bill Lupoletti

. issue V : vi .

. artist : various artists .
. album : daora: underground sounds of urban brasil – hip-hop, beats, afro & dub .
. year : 2013 .
. label : mais um discos .
. grade : b minus .

Daora

Here’s another valuable release from Mais Um, who specialize in bringing the latest uncategorizable Brazilian recordings to the north’s attention. Daora is ‘paulistano,’ slang that means just what an urban American means by ‘dope’: cool and generally awesome. I don’t find Disc 1, focusing on hip-hop and beats, especially ‘dope.’ But Disc 2, with its focus on Afrobeat and reggae-derived rhythms, is definitely all that. I’d heard that Afrobeat is hot in Brazil (why not? it’s popular everywhere right now) and there are some fine Afrobeat tracks on here: “Balboa da Silva” is fast and sour like the Budos Band or the late, lamented Superpowers; “Malunguinho” is slow and soulful; “Bass do Tambo” borrows as much from disco, rap and Shaft as from Afrobeat; and “Abeue” evolves from a long, very Brazilian percussion intro into a lovely, spacey jazz arrangement. And there are two really nice reggae tracks, both fronted by female singers switching between Portuguese and English: “Not Falling” reminds me of Amparanoia, and “Sorriso Forte na Luta” quotes Althea & Donna to fine effect. Brazilian Afrobeat and reggae? Como no!

by Bill Lupoletti