Review: Brazil 45s hit the quarter century in their run and show no sign of stopping. It's an all-girl affair on this one as two hugely popular and prolific singers take a spin under Mr Bongo's spotlight. Elizabeth (often known as Elizete) lays down a steamy samba flavour that gets raunchier as the track develops. Elza, meanwhile, gets busy on a Bossa tip as a carnival of percussion and horns go toe-to-toe with her sharp, sexy staccato vocals. Powerful.
Review: For the latest volume in their essential "Brazil 45" series of seven-inch singles, Brighton-based Mr Bongo has decided to offer up a fresh pressing of MPB star Renata Lu's superb 1971 single "Faz Tanto Tempo". You'll find the title track, a heavyweight fusion of US style soul and funk with added Latin percussion and a touch of easy listening sassiness, on side A, with original B-side "Sambaloo" on the flip. This features Lu singing over a hybrid samba/boogaloo backing track rich in jaunty bass, rasping horns and jazzy electric piano riffs. It's arguably every bit as alluring as the A-side.
Ronaldo Reseda - "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" (5:19)
Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti - "Ginga" (2:57)
Review: The 65th volume in Mr Bongo's admirable Brazil 45s series shines a light on Rio De Janeiro's turn-of-the-'80s boogie scene. On the A-side you'll find "E Novamente Mas Que Nada" by Ronaldo Resado, a five-minute chunk of samba-laced boogie sunshine that was originally featured on the artist's eponymous 1979 debut album. While wonderful, it's slightly overshadowed by flipside cut "Ginga", one of the highlights from Robson Jorge and Lincoln Olivetti's sought-after 1982 full-length (which, incidentally, was recently reissued by Mr Bongo and is well worth checking). Joining the dots between synth-heavy electrofunk, horn-toting disco-funk and languid jazz-funk, the instrumental track is arguably one of the best Brazilian boogie records ever made. Don't sleep.
Review: Another week, another must have edition in Mr Bongo's essential Brazil 45s series. This time round they've offered up a genuine rare-as-hen's-teeth gem: Sonia Santos's 1974 single "Marraio", a fiery slab of samba-funk fusion laden with rousing horns, shuffling beats and busy bass. It's brilliant all told, and well worth the admission price on its own. Of course, the flipside from Marcia Maria is also superb. A little less hard-to-find but still rare, 1979's "Oh! Man" is a more relaxed and groovy MPB affair that joins the dots between jazz-funk, soul and samba. It's undeniably sun-kissed and celebratory, like much of Maria's work in that period.
Review: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series continues with aplomb... On their eighth outing we find the hugely prolific 60s/70s troubadour Wilson Simonal paying homage to the legendary Jorge Ben with two exemplary cover versions. Whether it's on the soft big band emphasis and teasing fills on "Zazueira" or the upbeat, feel-good swinger "Silva Lenheira" there's a raw clarity to Wilson's vocals that instantly endure; the way he pushes his voice to the very edge of breaking on the high notes and a rich, clear delivery, he's the consummate soulful showman.