Getting in the Groove of Brazilian Music
I will say right up front that I dislike compilations for the sole reason of their being a big marketing ploy in Brazil. However, I am yet to hear a compilation by Putumayo that I do not like. Putumayo prides itself in doing a very fine job with their CD presentations. The art work is creative, fun and very eye catching. The liner notes are also often very informative. They all contain a brief bio about each artist and their careers. Furthermore, the artist’s names and song titles all offer a phonetic transcription for the Portuguese challenged. And what about the music? Well, I saved the best for last. The music often surprises me and introduces me to new artists I would otherwise not even take a chance on, especially in genres I do not care much for. Overall, every Putumayo compilation I have on Brazilian music (and I have all of them) is nothing short of outstanding. Brazilian Groove is no exception.
This album aptly mixes samba and bossa nova with non-traditional Brazilian genres. There is some funk, soul and a good dose of electronics — all making this collection very upbeat. I could even go as far as to say that you are probably listening to some of these tracks in some of the hottest and most popular dance clubs in the world. This is album combines traditional and contemporary Brazilian music. The opening track, for example, is the classic bossa nova “Maria Moita” with a spicy lounge swing beat. The same is true with BossaCucaNova’s “Consolação.” The groovy bass lines combined with the vintage vocals by Sylvio Cesar offer a nice danceable tune and yet maintains a bossa nova feel.
Besides offering new names, such as Rosália de Souza and Miriam Maria, this compilation also surprises with the songwriters represented here. Zeca Baleiro, a fairly new artist in the Brazilian music scene, appears here with two songs. Often drawing his material from his native Maranhão and other states in the Brazilian northeast, Baleiro is a remarkable songwriter with sharp lyrics. “Banguela,” the first of his songs in this album, received a lush arrangement using strings and a funky beat. Miriam Maria’s vocals highlight the social themes in the lyrics with great presence. Baleiro’s other song in this collection is “Côco do Mundo.” It amazes me how well a traditional rhythm such as côco goes so well with electronic influences.
Brazilian Groove is a treasure in each track and performer it showcases. You may like samba, bossa nova or even folkloric genres, such as côco. In this collection you’ll find a little of everything. Check it out yourself and hear Brazilian Groove. The sound is infectious.
Putumayo PUT 216-2 (2003)
- Maria Moita (Carlos Lyra – Vinícius de Moraes) – Rosália de Souza
- Consolação (Baden Powell – Vinícius de Moraes) – Sylvio Cesar & BossaCucaNova
- Outro Lado (Kruger – Schmidt – Vieira) – Zuco 103
- A História Da Morena Nua Que Abalou as Estruturas do Esplendor do Carnaval (Max de Castro – Erasmo Carlos) – Max de Castro
- Banguela (Zeca Baleiro) – Miriam Maria
- Lagoinha (Carlinhos Brown) – Carlinhos Brown
- Mas Que Nada (Melodic Side) (Jorge Ben) – Bab & Rolando 808
- Laura (David Santos Wilson) – Dos Santos
- Sou do Bem (Aleh) – Aleh
- Linda Canção (Steve Micarelli) – Barrio Jazz Gang
- Beleza (Marcello Ferreira) – Marcello
- Côco Do Mundo (Zeca Baleiro) – Electro Côco