From raw and unadorned vocal-drum tracks through to truly Bahian Afro Brazilica. This record can be listened to on many different levels and as a journey over the changing landscape of Brazilian music. The journey starts with the very beginnings of samba, whose predecessor arrived washed up on the coasts of Bahia as worship and freedom songs. This music provided the soundtrack to the Orixia based religion Candomble and the acrobatic martial art -Capoeira which both grew from the African culture newly arrived in Brazil.
In Africa, music plays a functional, ritualistic part in everyday life. And this is the case in Brazil today, where music is an integral part of day to day life- climaxing with Carnival once a year. This is when most of the country gets out to dance along to the many Escolas do Samba (samba schools) and Blocos taking part. In many African languages the words for dance and music are used interchangeably. The word Samba may come from the African Semba or ‘ invitation to dance’, and during Carnival everyone dances to the escolas. These can include up to 4000 members drumming perfectly in time and providing the magical, hypnotic and thunderous backdrop to the party.
This album features percussion maestro’s Wilson Des Neves & Robertinho Silva from the –‘Imperio Serrano’ Escola do samba of Rio. Other Musicians include; Ivan Conti (drummer with Azymuth), Zezinho and Leo Leobonz- who has spent his years playing with Mongo Santamaria and Fania all-stars
The African influences on the music and culture of Brazilian life cannot be overstated, with up to 5 million Africans from Ghana, Angola, Zaire and Nigeria, transplanted from their native lands to work as slaves in the plantations in Northeast Brazil. The immigrants brought with them their dance, language and religion, which they integrated with the strongly catholic and European culture, brought to Brazil by the colonial Portuguese.
This album features the voice of Aleuda singing Jongos – a highly improvisational form of ceremonial music brought from Ghana. Other vocalists are Sergao and Aperacidinha from the favelas of Madariera on the northern outskirts of Rio. Aperacidhinha has set up a school in the favelas for the Jongo ritual, performed originally at funerals and celebrations. The track ‘Jongo Jade’ sounds like invocation, the structure is a traditional African call and response pattern, with the drum answered by Apercidhinha’s distinctive spiritual vocal.
Also included is ‘Read Between the Lines’ feat. Marcina Arnold with help DJ/producer Roc Hunter. The track is available again for everyone who missed it first time round when it was released earlier in the year to a very enthusiastic response, media and club wise. A London/Rio collaboration - this frenetic paced afro/samba is carried by Marcina’s powerful vocal and is supported by full horn section.