Brazillian soul power ‘n’ samba soul for the people, yo.
By Blurt Staff
In 2002 the Strut label released the
groundbreaking Black Rio: Brazil Soul Power 1971-1980 album compiled
by London’s DJ Cliffy, a snapshot of the ‘70s
Black Rio soul and funk movement in Brazil. (Cliffy is the man behind London club night Batmacumba; the longest running
Brazilian club night in England,
now enjoying a bi-monthly residency at London’s
Notting Hill Arts Club.)
While Tropicalia had given Brazil’s
musicians and songwriters a powerful political voice during the ‘60s, the Black
Rio movement had to battle the odds – black soul was perceived as not being
authentically Brazilian and the country was under the rule of General Emilio
Garrastazu Medici’s oppressive dictatorship which effectively suffocated
cultural expression between 1969 and 1974. Still, the movement took hold as
disenchanted black Brazilian youth mirrored the struggles of their
contemporaries in the US
with their own potent brew of samba, soul and funk. Black Rio parties attracted
thousands, bands including Banda Black Rio and Uniao Black were created from
the scene and music figureheads like Jorge Ben began exploring more dense, Afro
directions on albums including ‘Africa Brasil’.
comes the second installment in the series, also compiled by Brazillian
specialist Cliffy, due June 23. Vol.
1 brought together pioneers of the movement like Tim Maia and Gerson King
Combo, and Black Rio
2: Original Samba Soul 1971-1980 digs deeper still, exploring more of the
key artists and many of the short-lived bands and smaller labels of the time.
Highlights include the dynamite funk / samba jam ‘Faz Tanta Tempo’ by Renata
Lu, a great funky cover of Gilberto Gil’s ‘Bananeira’ by Emilio Santiago and a rare
slice of breezy soul, ‘Supermarket’, by Pete Dunaway aka Paulistano, one of a
group of artists giving themselves a Western-sounding name at the time.
Mark those calendars, crate diggers.