Sunday, August 16, 2009

Brasilian Soul

Black Rio - Brazil Soul Power 1971-1980 is an album I never tire of. Packed with 16 gems highlighting the musical history of Brazil's Black Power movement, it is the sound of liberation for your mind and body.

DJ Cliffy has blessed us with another amazing collection of soulful tunes. Black Rio 2 - Original Samba Soul 1968-1981 packs 18 heaters into one inspiring session. Volume 2 covers possibly even more ground, from stripped down soulful recordings to some burning samba numbers, and plenty in between.

Strut and DJ Cliffy have done it again!

Brazilika - Gilles Peterson

Gilles Peterson and Far Out Recordings head honcho, Joe Davis, released the first Brazilika compilation on Gilles' Talking Loud Label 15 years ago. To celebrate, they have unleashed a massive, 23 track look through Far Out's incredible output. This time around, the focus is mainly on the beautiful melodies that are the underpinning of bossa nova. Gilles has to be the most prolific and spot-on compiler of great music the world over and he delivers once again.

Nicola Conte presents Viagem 2

Nicola Conte brings us the follow up to last year's groovy Viagem set on Far Out Recordings. He keeps it true on the jazz tip while providing enough of the bossa influence to shine through. These are selections straight from Nicola's personal collection, which one can only dream of rummaging through for an afternoon (or a lifetime!). Here is what the man himself has to say about the new compilation:

“This is a journey through the jazz & samba sound of 60s Brazil. The music is completely lost now; people just don’t play like this anymore. There are some classics yet also tunes unknown. Listening to this compilation is like listening to the music I make - this is the foundation - I picture myself within this music. ‘Viagem 2’ portrays the Brazilian moods of mid 60’s, a vibe that swings to hard edged jazz samba - a hybrid that blends South and North America, Africa and Europe in a poetic, most unique way.” NICOLA CONTE

Wax Poetics - Brazil Issue

A new Wax Poetics issue always gets me excited and, together with SHOOK, is satisfying most of the void left by the departure of my beloved Straight No Chaser. This month rings even closer to my heart, as they present their first ever Brazil special issue. With Brazil's foremost ambassador Gilberto Gil gracing the cover (no really, he was the country's Cultural Minister for 5 years until he decided it was interfering with his music and resigned in 2008) and Airto Moreira on the flip, you know they are on the right page. With closer looks at both these artists, as well as Arthur Verocai, Tim Maia, and enough records to keep us digging more months to come, Wax Poetics has hit this one out of the park.

While on the Brazilian reading tip, I also recommend Caetano Veloso's "Tropical Truth - A Story of Music & Revolution In Brazil" (originally published in Brazil as "Verdade Tropical in 1997). From one of the centers of the Tropicalia movement, this is an inside angle on what really went down in the 60s, both musically and politically.

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