Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saudades do Brasil

"Saudade" is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English or in French- although it is sometimes translated in French as "vague à l'âme" (wave to the soul?).

It refers to the longing for the return of something that was once loved, but is now gone, or far. It blends feelings of melancholy and nostalgia- and can provoke a rush of sudden sadness combined with paradoxical joy that arises from accepting that the saddening fate could soon be replaced by a new fulfillment.

Quite an interesting concept, really -- especially in music. The term has been very much associated with Bossa Nova, and was part of the the title of the seminal Bossa Nova album, "Chega de Saudade" (1959) written by Tom Jobim and interpreted by João Gilberto. The first track of this selection is taken from this album.

The lingering "saudade" feeling can be felt in many other styles of music, as it is a true part of the Brasilian people's identity. This selection of tracks is a very eclectic mix of songs of different styles, that in some way or another make my mind linger, and rock my soul in both a melancholic and joyfull way. Some of course sound more sad than cheerful, or the opposite- as I said it was a very personal appreciation. This compilation fuses Bossa Nova with MPB, Samba, Soul, Funk and even disco music. Nothing huge for the dancefloor, but great music to make you mind travel a little.

Most of the artists that are compiled here are very popular mainstream artists in Brazil, but I've tried to include some of their lesser known songs. Some, as Bossa Nova godfather Joao Gilberto, poet Vinicius de Moraes, and Chico Buarque could not be ignored in this collection. Others include Wilson Simonal, Jorge Ben, Bebeto (bass player from Tamba trio), Soul Brother number 1 in Brasil Tim Maia, Marcos Valle, Samba Legend Martinho da Vila, Tropicalists Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso & Gal Costa, etc...

Tracklist is:

01. João Gilberto - Saudade fez um samba, 1959
02. Gilberto Gil - Queremos Guerra, 1969
03. Chico Buarque - Cotidiano, 1971
04. Vinicius de Moras e Trio Mocoto - Como Dizia O Poeta, 1971
05. Jorge Ben - Negro É lindo, 1971
06. Dom Salvador e Abolicão - Hey Voce, 1971
07. Bebeto - Batuque, 1975
08. João Donato - A Ra (the frog), 1973
09. Gal Costa - Desafinado, 1973
10. Wilson Simonal - Nem Vem Que Nao Tem, 1967
11. Caetano Veloso - Irene, 1969
12. Vinicius de Moraes - Tomara, 1971
13. Marcos Valle - Garra, 1970
14. Jorge Ben - Que Nega e Essa, 1972
15. Tim Maia - Réu Confesso, 1973
16. Trio Mocoto - Maior É Deus, 1973
17. Martinho da Vila - Disritmia, 1974
19. Cravo e Canela - Preco De Cada Um, 1977
19. Orlandivo - Bolinha de Sabão, 1977
20. Alaide Costa - Catavento, 1976

Download >>here

Friday, February 8, 2008

O som do Samba Rock

Today's post will be another selection of Brazilian music, and will bring to you the best of the influential style called Samba Rock.

It was Jorge Ben who first started blending the sounds of Samba, Soul and Funk in the late sixties. Soon to be imitated by many other artists from Brazil and around the world. Most famously, Trio Mocoto, who were his backing band between 1969 and 1971 and recorded 3 of his best albums with him (Jorge Ben 1969, Forca Bruta & Negro e Lindo).

In this selection you will here other famous Brazilian acts from the same period: Antonio Carlo e Jocafi, Bebeto, Abilio Manuel, and Mutreteiros Grilados. Even French pop Singer France Gall (Hé ouais! France Gall) recorded a samba flavoured track in 1970 with Cesar Camargo Mariano, one of the most renowned instrumental artists to come out of Brazil. Others artists featured on this one include Samba legend Jaïr Rodrigues, samba ensembles "Os Originais do Samba", "Samba 6", "Orquestra e Côro", and samba rock songs from famous Tropicalia artists Novos Baianos and Maria Bethania.

Some Brazilian rock bands, that made it big in the 60's with during Jovem Guarda movement by performing "Twist" also gave a shot at Samba Rock. The Golden Boys and Os Incriveis are good examples.

All these songs share a typical Samba feel, given by the traditional instruments used in Samba: Violao (guitar), Cuica, Tamborim & Ganza. Most of these are incredible party songs, that will fill a dancefloor anytime - trust me.

Track list is:
01. Os Incriveis - Venderdor de Bananas, 1969
02. Golden Boys - Se voce quiser mas sem bronquear, 1970
03. France Gall & Cesar Mariano - Zozoi, 1970
04. Jorge Ben - O Telefone Tocou Novamente, 1970
05. Abilio Manuel - Luiza Manequim, 1971
06. Maria Bethania e Jorge Ben - Mano Caetano, 1971
07. Antonio Carlos e Jocafi - Morte do Amor, 1971
08. Trio Mocoto - Coqueiro Verde, 1971
09. Os Originais Do Samba - Tenha Fé Pois Amanha Um Lindo Dia Vai Nascer, 1971
10. Samba 6 - Boca fechada não entra mosca, 1972
11. Novos Baianos - Brasil pandeiro, 1972
12. Orquestra e Côro - Kriola, 1973
13. Trio Mocoto - Vem Cá, 1973
14. Mutreteiros Grilados - Vamos Sacudir, 1974
15. Brasilian Singers - Dingui Li Bangue, 1974
16. Grupo Arembepe - Iaia, 1974
17. Bebeto - Pensar pra que, 1975
18. Brasilian Singers - Camisa 10, 1974
19. Jaïr Rodrigues - Alegria de Vocês, 1975
20. Mutreteiros Grilados - Depois de 2001, 1976

Download >>here

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Soul Funk Sample Heaven

Here is a welcome welcome gift to the world of Rare Grooves.
These songs have all been picked from albums that every record collector is searching for. Favorites for samplers and hip-hop producers, these tracks have all been sampled numerous times. I'm sure you'll recognize many of these if you have ever listened to an album from Public Enemy, De La Soul, The Beastie Boys or a Tribe Called Quest.

For instance, you'll instantly recognize the Honeydrippers' "Impeach the president", sampled by the entire world (Run DMC, Gang Starr, Ice Cube, EPMD, NWA, the Wu-tang, Shaggy, just to name a few).

Some of these Soul & Funk gems came out to meet little commercial success in their time, and have since been rediscovered and awarded the praise they deserve.

A few examples:

Eugene McDaniel's album "Headless heroes of the Apocalypse" was released in 1971, but because of its angry socially criticism, Atlantic records were asked by Nixon's vice president to stop marketing the album! Still, it was re-discovered by later generations, and The Beastie Boys' "Paul Boutique" and Tribe's "The Low End Theory" albums heavily sample this record.

Syl Johnson used to record for HI Records in Memphis, which was also Al Green's label. He spent most of his career in Al Green's shadow, both commercially and artistically, and had to wait until the early 90's sample craze to be regarded as a classic Soul Front Man. "Different Strokes" is an intense display of Soul - one wonders how it could have been forgotten for almost 20 years until De La Soul sampled it in the song "Magic Number".

Billy Brooks, when he recorded "Windows of the Mind" in 1974, was a obscure session trumpet player from LA, who would record in studio for Ray Charles' band. This album, and the track "40 Days" specifically, have since been sampled by Tribe Called Quest, and many others afterwards, becoming one of the most sought after "Private Funk" records.

Magnum, are an early 70's Funk band that only recorded one album "Fully Loaded" in 74, which went completely unnoticed. Mostly because of the amount of Soul & Funk bands at the time, and because the established getting most of the media attention. 25 years later, they finally were re-issued, after samples from the album had been used in hip-hop production, and the original LP now goes for over $500 on e-Bay...

Lafayette Afro Rock Band were a Soul and Funk outfit, from Long Island, NY - who decided to relocate to Paris, France - given the number of funk groups in the US at the time. They first recorded under the name Ice, and drew a great following in the Barbes neighborhood of Paris. They also backed French popular singers such as Nino Ferrer... The opening sax line of their track "Darkest Light", from the 1975 album "Malik", has been sampled by almost everybody, including Public Enemy, Wreckx'n'Effect and Janet Jackson.

The Mighty Ryeders were a mighty Funk band from Miami, active in the late 70s but not very well known anywhere else. The album came out and sold few, but has been cherished by samplers and collectors ever since... The song "Evil vibrations" has been made legendary by De La Soul's sample in "A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays". I've seen this one sell over $1000 on e-Bay, and it's on top of any serious collector's wish list.

24 Carat Black is another example of a recording that completely fell through the cracks. Released in 73 on Stax (also the label of Isaac Hayes & Otis Reading)- the album "Ghetto : Misfortune's Wealth" is a masterpiece. But it only was granted this much respect after the hip-hop community made it theirs through intense sampling.

Some other tracks in this selection are ever rarer, and were never ever released other than on 45rpm singles. Trying to find the tracks from The Chefs, and The fabulous originals is impossible.

The tracklist is:
01. Bob & Earl - Harlem Shuffle, 1963
02. Syl Johnson - Is It Because I'm Black, 1969
03. Al Hirt - Harlem Hendoo, 1967
04.The Chefs - Mr. Machine, 1971
05. Syl Johnson - Different Strokes, 1969
06. Melvin Van Peebles ft. Earth, Wind & Fire - Hoppin' John, 1971
07. Eugene McDaniels - The Lord Is Back, 1971
08. Earth, Wind & Fire - Bad Tune, 1971
09. The Fabulous Originals - It Ain't Fair But It's Fun, 1971
10. Jimmy Castor Bunch - Its Just Begun, 1972
11. Ernie Hines - Our Generation, 1972
12. The Honeydrippers - Impeach the President, 1973
13. 24 Carat Black - Ghetto Misfortune's Wealth, 1973
14. Billy Brooks - Fourty Days, 1974
15. The Heath Brothers - Smiling Billy suite pt 2, 1975
16. Cymande - Brothers on the Slide, 1974
17. Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Darkest Light Band,1975
18. Magnum - Evolution, 1975
19. Travis Biggs - Tibetian Serenity, 1979
20. The Mighty Ryeders - Evil vibrations, 1978

Welcome to the world of rare grooves.

I want to get this compilation of soul & funk gems >>here
No thanks, I'd rather go and buy all the original records because I'm filthy rich >>here

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sounds of the Afro Funky Beat

For the 5th post I bring to you on Food4Funk, I'll be focusing, to the request of my good friend ABDB, and for everybody else's pleasure, on the exciting and energetic sound of Afro Beat.

Of course, Afro Beat was crafted, characterized and immortalized, mostly by the works of one single person - Fela Kuti. The charismatic, multi-instrumentalist and politically involved band leader, created the term itself and used his music as a weapon to trigger massive social changes during the 70's, amidst the fierce political & military dictature the African continent was facing as it struggled to recover from its colonial past.

Blending traditional African music with North-American Jazz, Funk and Big Band, Afro Beat emerged from Lagos in Nigeria in the early 60s, and quickly spread throughout Africa with countries like Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon, Ethiopia and South Africa widely embracing this new current.

In this selection, you will find some of the most defining names in Afrobeat (Fela Kuti, Orlando Julius) and also discover lesser known artists form different regions in Africa. Of course, I couldn't resist throwing in a few afro jazz and hard funk, that only reflect some afrobeat sonorities (Pacific Express, Brigth Engelberts), but I'm sure no one will mind...

The tracklist is:
01. Orlando Julius - Alo mi alo, 1970 - Nigeria
02. Manu Dibango - New Bell, 1972 - Cameroon
03. The Funkees - Dancing Time, Early 70's - Nigeria
04. Sahara All Stars Band - Enjoy Yourself, Nigeria
05. Sweet Talks - Eyi Su Ngaangaa, 1976 - Ghana
06. George Danquah - Just a Moment - ??
07. Wganda Kenya - Shakalaode, ?? - Kenya
08. Moussa Doumbia - Keleya, 1970 - Ivory Coast
09. Wali & the Afro Caravan - Hail the King, 1970 - Texas, USA
10. Segun Okeji - I like woman, 1978 - Nigeria
11. Buari - Karam bani, 1975 - Ghana
12. Ebo Taylor - Heaven, 1977 - Ghana
13. Tunde Williams & Africa 70 - Mr. Big Mouth,1975 - Nigeria
14. Pacific Express - The Way It Used to Be, 1978 - South Africa
15. Fela Anikulapo Kuti & Africa 70 - Zombie, 1977 - Nigeria
16. William Onyeabor - Better Change Your Mind, 1978 - Nigeria
17. Peter King - Mystery Tour, 1976 - Nigeria
18. Brigth Engelberts & The B.E. Movement - Get Together, ??

Get your Afro Beat fix >> here (part 1)
Get your Afro Beat fix >> here (part 2)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Euro Jazz Funk Madness

Back in the early 1970’s, the fusion of jazz with funk and elements of rock was a pretty big trend in North America. With the recent introduction of synthesizers and other electric instruments and with the increasing popularity of funk music; recognized jazz band leaders such as Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and Donald Byrd started exploring new electronic grounds. Before long, their most noted band members started their own jazz-funk outfits and by the mid 70’s, the likes of Herbie Hancock and the Head Hunters, Chick Corea and Return to Forever and Joe Zawinul and Weather Report were drawing huge attention and had become big record sellers.

What was going on in Europe at the time? With the psych pop and Yé-Yé craze slowly fading and the Disco frenzy just a few years ahead… Was the talented European jazz avant-garde falling asleep? Hell no!!! A few guys back here were seriously vibing on the Fender Rhodes and chomping up some of the most groove infected drum breaks you'll ever hear.

In fact, they may have not had the same level of attention back in the days – but they have had as much impact on the hip-hop, trip-hop and electro scenes to come as their American counterparts.

Here is a selection of 20 super rare - super funked up European jazz grooves that you can't miss on. Please meet (if you don't know them yet):

Marc Moulin (from Belgium) and his band Placebo, (he also plays on the amazing track from Cos); a visionary force in European acid jazz, heavily influenced by Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock - who in turn has been highly influent for pop-synth and trip-hop artists in later decades.

Jean Claude Pierric and Francois Rolland who are the masterminds behind the Harlem Pop Trotters, Les Wanted, Minotaure and the legendary Godchild; Most of their music was not even commercially released at the time. It was production music, or library music, pre-recorded and sold via sound banks for usage in commercials or television programs! Other Library musicians featured in this selection include Michel Gonet, and Englishman Peter Milray, from the famous DeWolfe music Library.

The legendary band Cortex, led by Alain Mion & Alain Gandolfi and this track from their Album "Troupeau Bleu" - an indescribable blend of Jazz, funk, samba and batuccada with brilliant keyboard arrangements. The album was recorded in 2 days, and is almost impossible to find - aka Holy Grail for record collectors like myself (luckily it was recently re-edited).

World-class French drummer André Ceccarelli and other Jazz greats such as Martial Solal, Maurice Vander, Michel Sardaby and Romano Mussolini (who is no other that the youngest son of Benito himself), all feeling the funk pretty heavily on these tunes.

Spanish Jazz fusion artists Jordi Sabates and Pedro Ruy Blas, who add a very noticeable (and wonderfully appreciated) flamenco feel to their groove. Ever heard that from Mr Hancock?

Famous French composer Michel Colombier, who has worked with the worlds greatest, from Gainsbourg to the Beach Boys, to Quincy Jones and Madonna. On this track, from his 1979 self titled album, the personel is no other than:
Michel Colombier : piano, fender rhodes synthesizer - Lee Ritenour : guitar - Herbie Hancock : mini-moog solo - Jaco Pastorius : bass - Airto Moreira : percussion - Steve Gadd : drums. That says it all. I've never seen such an impressive line-up.

Tracklist is:
01. Les Wanted - Couidic-Kong, 1972
02. Ceccarelli, Chantereau, Padovan, Pezin. (C.C.P.P.) - Joris of lumina, 1975
03. Peter Milray - Time Machine, 197?
04. Harlem Pop Trotters - La Moto Verte, 1974
05. Michel Sardaby - Welcome New Warmth, 1974
06. Romano Mussolini - Mirage, 1974
07. Maurice Vander - Grand Rogue, 1974
08. Martial Solal - A Train is Better Than Two, 1974
09. Cos - Halucal, 1974
10. Jordi Sabates - Ocells del mes enlla, 1975
11. Cortex - Sabbat, 1975
12. Placebo - Balek, 1973
13. Pedro Ruy Blas & Dolores - La Ausencia, 1976
14. Martial Solal - Locomotion, 1974
15. Marc Moulin - Le Beau Galop, 1975
16. Minotaure Illustration - Yawn and Yell, 1972?
17. André Ceccarelli - Gang Process, 1975
18. Genevieve Paris (with André Céccarelli) - De Paris en Paris, 1975
19. Michel Gonet - Flower Dance, 1978
20. Michel Colombier - Sunday, 1979

This is like good wine. Kept in a cellar for about 30 years, finely matured, it just tastes amazing today (and similarly to Bordeaux, 1974 and 75 were pretty excellent years).

If you'd like to get a feel of this fine music, click here

If you'd rather go to Britney Spears' official website, please click here