Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Brazilian Beats have come a long way in just seven volumes – from an initial series approach that focused on older bossa and samba grooves, to this crackling set that's filled with great contemporary moments too! The package may well be the most exciting in the collection so far – as it effortlessly shifts between current grooves from the underground and older gems from the 60s and 70s – showing a never-ending sense of creative combination in Brazilian music – the kind of fresh, groundbreaking sounds that have always had our ears turned towards the music of Rio, Sao Paolo, Recife, and Salvador! The set pulls you in right away with some really wonderful sounds – then opens your mind to a great mix of tracks that includes "Boa Noite" by Karol Conka, "Melo Do Vatapa" by Bemba Trio, "Esquindindin" by Som Sete, "Oba La Vem Ela" by Junip, "Deixa Eu Dizer" by Claudia, "Luiza Manequim" by Abilio Manoel, "Selvagem" by Wan Trio, "Corridos E Toques De Capoeira" by Mestre Bimba, "Plateau (part 1)" by Jackson Conti, "Pra Fazer Um Samba" by Cizinha, "Autorizando" by Jorge Autuori, and "Caminho Livre" by Coaty De Oliveira.~ Dusty Groove


One of the best albums we've heard from percussionist Nana Vasconcelos in years – and a set that really gets back to the organic complexity of his best music of the 70s! The sound here is rooted in Nana's percussion, but often flowers open with added elements on cello, violin, cavaquinho, and trombone – used sparely, and sometimes mixed with vocals from Nana and other singers on the set! There's a nice use of silence amidst the sound – creating that spaciousness that made Vasconcelos a good fit with ECM back in the day – yet other moments have this proud, loud sensibility that bursts out very strongly too. Titles include "Passos", "Fogo", "Clementina", "Astronafrica", "Nizinga", "Legua Tirana", and "Berimbando". ~ Dusty Groove.


Plenty of excitement from this hip Spanish group – a really old school-styled soul act, complete with one hell of a great lead singer – and a very deep sound to match! Koko Jean Davis really tops most of the usual work of this nature – and is a true soul singer, at a Sharon Jones level – instead of just another retro-styled diva with a funk band in the back. And the rest of The Excitements are super-tight – and play more in a mode that's got the best late 60s funky soul echoes of Memphis than any sort of overdone cliches – really respectful of the singer in the lead, even though they've clearly got some great instrumental chops on their own. And best of all, the album's filled with original tunes, too – lots of fresh numbers that go way deeper than just the usual run of old soul covers, but which have a level of quality to match the classics too. Titles include "Don't You Dare Tell Her", "Ha Ha Ha", "Keep Your Hands Off", "That's What You Got", "I Believe You", "Fishing Pole", "The Hammer", and "Sometimes Too Much Ain't Enough". ~ Dusty Groove

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