Jim Metzner is a sound recordist and radio producer, best known for his series "Pulse of the Planet," which can be heard on over 300 stations worldwide and online at pulseplanet.com. On National Public Radio, he is Weekend Edition Saturday's "Ambassador to the Natural World".
"A fascinating document of Brazilian musical roots. Jim Metzner's well-selected recordings ... give a remarkably vivid impression of Brazilian music's relation to daily life."
John Swenson, Rolling Stone
"A kind of lively, street-wise impurity informs the choice of the material..the music is fascinating enough to whet the appetite for more.."
Richard Buell, The Boston Phoenix
This album was recorded in the Brazilian state of Bahia, mostly in or near its capital, Salvador. A substantial part of Bahia's population is black, and traditional Bahian music is heavily influenced by African origins -- listen to the fishermen's songs, the Candomblé and Capoeira recordings.
I traveled to Bahia in August and September of 1976. During six weeks of recording, there seemed to be a palpable "magic" in the air, and music was its volatile, catalytic agent. Music pervades Brazilian society. In the stands during a soccer game, the Bahia section pours out a constant Samba, its rhythm filtering through the cheers and igniting the players. If you stand in a church courtyard at twilight, where nearby, children are practicing soccer and men are telling stories as they clean their fishing nets, you can hear the evening novenas being sung for the Festival of St. Lazarus. And then faintly, from the hills nearby comes the sound of Candomblé drums, along with the strains of a chorus singing a repetitive chant. It mixes with the vibration of the novenas and is sent as a simultaneous, supplementary prayer, a living example of what Brazilians call sincretismo, a blending of African and Portuguese cultures.