Posts Tagged ‘brazil’
The grand dame of Amazonian song has still got it – and she’s back with a new single.
Dona Onete, the saucy 79 year old Brazilian singer who only turned to singing at the age of 73, opens a fresh chapter in new Brazilian music with ‘No Meio Do Pitiú (In The Middle of The Pitiú)’ on Mais Um Discos. Referring to the pungent water which floods the fish markets as the ice which cools the fish defrosts, her native Indian and African heritage shines through on this playful song, released on March 24.
Dona Onete’s ‘Carimbó Chamegado’ from Feitiço Caboclo was a Songlines Top of the World in #104, with the album receiving a five-star review.
Ed Motta has been a familiar face to many for over two decades now, and on the basis of this superb performance there seems little evidence that he’ll be fading away anytime soon
Motta performed to a packed and highly attentive audience at London’s Jazz Café for nearly two hours and was a consummate showman throughout. It was the first chance for many fans to see some of the tracks from his new album Perpetual Gateways performed live, and his band – sourced from in and around Europe – were exemplary, considered and possessed a great group dynamic.
The performance opened with ‘Captain’s Refusal’, a track inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic detective thriller Sabotage: a delicately conceived piece that both carried a compelling narrative while grooving majestically. Indeed, his own ability as a storyteller really stood out as he took time to elaborate on the tales behind each tune as the evening progressed.
Much of his recent work – including 2013’s AOR – has been inspired by his fascination with both film soundtracks and times gone by. The track ‘Flores da Vida Real’ was influenced by TV series intros, and his verging upon encyclopaedic knowledge of arcane TV series from the UK – including The Avengers and Captain Scarlet – elicited a huge cheer from the audience, and this sense of camaraderie imbued this performance with a feeling of community.
“Motta simply loves music, and to see him in his element was a real pleasure”
It was a musically wonderful occasion, too. His hilarious story about meeting Peter Falk (the star of Columbo) in Nice and declaring his undying love to him via a vino-tinged haze was immediately followed by an energetic rendition of AOR cut ‘Farmer’s Wife’. Motta has always been bold with harmony and it’s his use of rock-tinged balladry with jazz sensibility that has seen him cut a unique figure on the musical landscape. New track ‘Forgotten Nickname’ was a real stand out; opening with expansive chords on his Fender Rhodes, Motta’s vocal soared above the ensemble, and the subtle instrumentation in accompaniment allowed his prowess as a performer to stand front and centre. Other tracks such as ‘Reader’s Choice’ – written in Amsterdam, a place Motta regularly visits for inspiration – carried a similarly slow, yet emotive feel.
There was plenty of vigour, also, with the full on funk onslaught of ‘Drive Me Crazy’ and the groove of ‘Smile’ offering up a fine balance with these slow ballads; a special mention should also be paid to musical director and pianist Matti Klein, whose solo on ‘Good Intentions’ was dazzling.
Upon finishing with his classic track ‘Columbina’ and AOR favourite ‘Dondi’ I was reminded of why I first fell in love with Motta’s work. He radiates passion for music and even with his most accessible tracks there is always something intriguing around the corner, be it a rhythmic nuance, quirky chord substitution or even a powerful roar from his inimitable voice. Motta simply loves music, and to see him in his element was a real pleasure.
In 1967 a group of Brazilian musicians dared to go against the status quo. At that time Brazil was very protective of its music, samba and bossa nova had to remain pure, to stay clear of Western influences. But, with the influence of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and US soul music getting greater in Brazil, something had to give. The tropicália movement showed that it’s possible to integrate foreign pop, rock and soul music into Brazilian music, without it losing its soul. They showed that avant-garde and kitsch ideas can be included in the same song, and that Brazilian music can be as radical as any music being made anywhere in the world. Playlist by Russ Slater for Songlines.
Peter Culshaw has a full-on carnival experience in São Paulo, courtesy of the all-female drumming ensemble, Ilu Obá De Min
There’s the sexy glamour of the Rio carnival, the more funky Salvador de Bahia one, and others like the older style frevo version in the colonial town of Olinda. Less well-known, though, is the carnival in the biggest, most futuristic city in South America – São Paulo. While they also have their glitzy floats in their Sambódrome, which only opened in 1991, as a cheaper version of Rio’s, the real action is the more ragged neighbourhood bloco parties in the streets.The most impressive one I found was the Ilu Obá De Min, a women-only dance and drumming group, which specialises in African traditions.
In downtown Barra Funda, around 200 women drummers in distinctive red and white striped dresses gathered (the only men being some characters on stilts, dressed as the Afro-Brazilian orishas or deities). Even the random warming-up was a tidal wave of sound, but once all 200 women hit their stride in sync with some funky samba beats, it was a brilliant, at times alarming, mix of an apocalyptic and joyful racket.
Like a turbo-charged version of the Burundi drummers. I missed them earlier in the week singing with Elza Soares, a wonderful samba-soul singer once married to the legendary footballer Garrincha. She may be one of the few singers powerful enough to rise above the percussive thunder. If you are in town, do join the bloco for rehearsals. They also run courses in various types of Afro-Brazilian dance and music.