The Dark Side of the Samba
It was between the two world wars that the cinema noir started to develop. Although a minimalistic film technique was used, the main characteristics of the movies were to be found in its sentiments. Melancholy, sadness, disappointment, pessimism,… And there’s the link with samba! There, too, lyrics often tell sad stories.
The Coletivo Samba Noir used this idea to create an own sound. The Coletivo was formed in Rio de Janeiro in 2014 around singer, actress, dancer, guitarist and composer Katia B, guitarist, arranger Luís Filipe de Lima, star percussionist Marcos Suzano and multi-instrumentalist Guilherme Gê. A perfect quartet to give new air to some of the great old samba classics. Luís Filipe de Lima plays the 7-string acoustic guitar on the CD. He stresses out the beauty of the samba in a nostalgic way. The, as always, flawless and soft voice of Katia Bronstein personifies the melancholy of the samba. Marcos Suzano knows as no one else how to lay down and break down the rhythm of the samba and Guilherme Gê is the one who guides the music into modern times (synth bass, samples, keyboards). It’s an unconventional way to perform the old sambas.
The album opens with “Chove Lá Fora,” a samba Tito Madi (1929) wrote in 1957 for his first album. The four musicians kind of glue their own specialties to the naked body of the song. The song is still there, but it sounds completely different from what one would expect. The Coletivo invited some special guests to help them in their mission. The experimental singer/guitarist Arto Lindsay (1953, Richmond, Virginia, USA) adds his low voice and characteristic disturbing guitar licks to “Meu Mundo é Hoje” (1965). Egberto Gismonti (1947, Carmo, Rio de Janeiro) plays the piano on “Risque” (1952). With his unique style he brings a jazzy touch to the dense atmosphere of the album.
Third guest Carlos Malta (1960, Rio de Janeiro) plays the baritone sax and bass clarinet on “Pra Que Mentir” (1937) and funks up the theme a bit. The last guest is maybe the most surprising one: Jards Macalé (1943, Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro) adds vocals on “Volta” (1957). He closes the album with his dark voice. A voice that even sounds darker with the melancholic beauty of the voice of Katia B. It’s a perfect end of the album.
Samba Noir is a surprising CD, created by four musicians who use their individual talents to the max to re-create some of the finest sambas from the past. They have their website with music and clips.
Coletivo Samba Noir
- Chove lá fora (Tito Madi)
- Imitação (Batatinha)
- Meu Mundo É Hoje (Wilson Batista – José Batista) – w/ Arto Lindsay
- Ninguém Me Ama (Fernando Lobo – Antônio Maria)
- Tão Só (Dorival Caymmi – Carlos Guinle)
- Aves Daninhas (Lupicínio Rodrigues)
- Risque (Ary Barroso) – w/ Egberto Gismonti
- Pra Que Mentir? (Noel Rosa – Vadico) – w/ Carlos Malta
- Só Deixo Meu Coração na Mão de Quem Pode (Katia B – Marcos Cunha – Plínio Gomes – Fausto Fawcett)
- Volta (Lupicínio Rodrigues) – w/ Jards Macalé