Tag Archives: samba

Jorge Ben – Mas Que Nada (1963)

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Jorge Ben Jor 1963

Rio 2016 is here; and I’ve been smitten by Brazilian music ever since I visited their lands 5 years ago. Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes is no newcomer to this blog. For me, it all started with him. For Jorge (Ben), it all started in 1963 with the release of the Samba Esquema Novo. And for listeners to that album, it all starts with the opener ‘Mas Que Nada’ (“But that’s nothing”). The song would help define a certain maracatu samba sound and would end up becoming a signature tune for Sergio Mendes, no less. But all the covers missed the lush arrangements of saxophonist J. T. Meirelles and Ben’s own virtuoso performance on guitar. Have a great week.

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Novos Baianos – O Samba Da Minha Terra (1973)

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Novos Baianos

Samba-loving hippies Novos Baianos followed their acclaimed album Acabou Chorare with 1973’s Novos Baianos F.C. Their music was heavily influenced by João Gilberto’s refined bossa nova, but there was no turning down the rhythm on their lively cover of Dorival Caymmi’s classic, ‘O Samba Da Minha Terra’. They lived in a Rio commune, splitting their time between playing instruments, composing music and playing football – living the dream.

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Baden E Vinicius – Canto de Ossanha (1966)

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Baden Powell de Aquino

I am embarrassed to say that I was first introduced to ‘Canto de Ossanha’ by alternative rapsters Jurassic 5. I like their cover a lot, but it’s not a scratch on Baden Powell’s original take that featured as the opening track on Powell and Vinicius de Moraes’ 1966 long player Os Afro-Sambas. As the title suggests, this was ground zero for afro sambas. You can hear the influence it had on the global music scene. Do take some time to watch the YouTube clip – a virtuoso.

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Sérgio Mendes – Fanfarra (Cabua-le-le) (1992)

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Sérgio Mendes

This batucada is even more celebratory than Airto’s classic rendition of ‘Celebration Suite’. ‘Fanfarra’ opens Sérgio Mendes’s aptly named long player ‘Brasileiro’. It was 1992 and it was the sound of a festival. Have a great New Year everyone.

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Everything But The Girl – Night And Day (1982)

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Everything But The Girl

I watched Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight In Paris’ this weekend. It polarises viewers between escapists and those not prepared to suspend belief. At one point, Gil Pender (Owen Wilson as a surrogate Allen) meets Scott Fitzgerald at party at which Cole Porter is playing the music. Fitzgerald pulls Wilson out of the gathering to see his mate Ernest Hemingway at some Bofinger-like brasserie/bar etc. etc. There’s a lot of creativity in there to mull over, but I pick out Cole Porter.  ‘Night And Day’ is probably his greatest contribution to pop music, having been copied or recorded by dozens of artists. Everything But The Girl aced their version in 1982. It was their first single and the samba beat was a master stroke. The photo’s from 1982 too – an image from Richmond, before they got all svelte and sultry.

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