Review: Brazilian artist Toni Tornado has led one hell of a life. Before he found fame as a funk and soul fusionist, he had spells pimping in New York, dancing in television shows and working as a teenage shoeshine. He was catapulted to fame - in his native country, at least - by the release of the B.R.3 album in 1971. Here, his sought after '72 masterpiece, Toni, finally gets the reissue treatment courtesy of Portugal's Mad About Records. The set is considered something of a "Black Rio" masterpiece and remains something of a must-have for those interested by the blurry middle ground between U.S soul and funk, big band jazz, Brazilian pop and tropical grooves (one of Tornado's parents was from Guyana). Original pressings are hard to come by, so this should be an essential purchase.
Review: Rich gutsy soul from a man who's regularly described as Brazil's James Brown, "O Journalerio" is a blueprint funk jam. Released in 1971 (on his hyper-rare album BR-3) it's all about the orchestrated swing, bluesy groove and Hammond licks so lavish you need to towel on every listen. Flip for Som Tres... An off-shoot of the Sambalanco Trio, it's the sound of Cesar Camargo Mariano controlling a restrained rolling slice of filmic instrumental funk where horns, keys and drums gather momentum with big band drama. Neither have been released on 45" before, making this all the more special.
Review: Two premium Latin funk documents on one limited 45, Mr Bongo deliver once again: Marcos Valle needs no introduction to Brazilian music enthusiasts. "Mentira" is a self-cover as Valle takes his 69 classic "Mentira Carioca" and develops the dynamic with a vocal style that's highly reminiscent of Donovan. Flip for Toni Tornado's Black Rio anthem "Me Libertei". Fusing sleazy rock n roll with jazzy Latin soul, madly this is the first time it's ever graced a 45!