Osmar Milito E Quarteto Forma - "America Latina" (2:46)
Review: A tale of two sides, Azimuth's classic "Manha" should be recognisable to many; taken from their self-titled LP in 1975, its golden harmonies and lavish, lolloping Bob James style jazz are as timeless as they were 40 years ago. Flip for "America Latina". Conjured by prolific collaborator Osmar Milito (whose discography features the likes of Sammy Davis Jr, Spanky Wilson and Liza Minelli), its striking, sing-along charms are no accident... It was actually created for 70s Brazilian soap opera Selva De Pedra.
Miele - "Melo Do Tagarela (Rapper's Delight)" (instrumental) (4:10)
Review: Although Brazil's Banda Black Rio remain infamous for the albums that they recorded in the late 1970s, two beautiful LPs that rode that singular wave of samba-ridden jazz dance, 1980's "Miss Cheryl" is an outstanding tune, and we can hear why RCA picked it up back in the day. Mr Bongo provides us with the reissue here and, if you haven't heard it, it's an absolute delight which switches between disco, psych, and something inherently Brazilian - there's even a wacky synth in there, for good measure. Compatriot Miele appears on the flip with "Melo Do Tagarela (Rappers Delight)", a sublime slice of early, electronic boogie that sounds as fresh today as it did back at the tail end of the 70s. A devious little reissue that you should own...
Review: More Brazilian brilliance from the Mr Bongo crew! Never released on 45 before, both tracks tell contrasting sides of Rio's rich story... "Imprevisto" is a dynamic piece of timeless jazz with splashing cymbals and scattershot pianos that gradually build into a dramatic groove that's held together with a lolloping double bass. "Skim Dum Dum Dum", meanwhile, showcases the city's funkiest roots. Big horns, undulating bass and Ana's rhythmic vocals create a universal disco experience that's peppered with Latin heat.
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: The Brazil 45s / Mr Bongo outlet is back with its classic moves, coming through with some truly special soul blends out of the Brazilian golden era. Dalila and Neyde Alexandre feature in this latest 7", the former with 1968's "Canto Chorado", a slow-burning bubble of funky exotica - surely impossible to find in its original shade - and the latter with a funky little bomb from 1971 by the name of "Perplexidade" - surely the smoothest, sexiest soul number out this week! Lovely stuff.
Review: Two outstanding Brazilian funk cuts straight out of 1971: "Esperar Pra Ver" is a laden with an immense orchestrated groove that's triggered by a lean, unforgettable bass guitar riff that matches Evinha's purring, slinky allure. "Que Bandeira" rolls with more of a poppy bossa flow with militant rim shots, swooning strings and a momentum that builds on every verse. Both tracks are taken from Cartao Postal, Evinha's third album that has been known to pass hands for as much as L500 in the past.
Review: Mr Bongo hosts another deeply dug history lesson and we'd all be wise to attend. Here we find Jorge Ben's classic "Carolina Carol Bela" (which many may recognise in sample form from Marky's "LK") covered with psychedelic whimsy by the un-documented Rio band from the late 60s Os Brazoes. Meanwhile on the flip we're introduced to Tim Maia, a man who made his name with tongue-in-cheek off-beat twists on US funk during the late 70s. With its falsetto vocals and tight guitar and bass licks, there are great shades of disco and ESG-style post-funk fusion all wrapped up in a beautiful Brazilian bundle. Lesson over. Go to the top of the class.
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: 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.
Review: Amongst fans of Brazilian music, Sivuca is arguably best known for his 1973 cover of "Ain't No Sunshine" - later a favourite on the rare groove scene - which re-casts the Bill Withers classic as a sumptuous chunk of shuffling samba sunshine. Here, the track gets reissued as part of Mr Bongo's brilliant Brazil 45s series, alongside his lesser-known - but no less impressive - cover of Edu Lobo's "Ponteio".
Review: For the 75th release in their long-running Brazil 45s series, the Mr Bongo crew has chosen to reissue some prime "MPB samba jazz" from 1965. The two tracks showcased here were originally issued on a rare 33rpm 7" single, one which collectors are now willing to pay silly money to obtain. Up first is "Ciumeira", a wonderfully jaunty and celebratory fusion of swinging sixties charm, Mod style organ stabs, smooth vocals and cheery samba-pop grooves. B-side "Rasga Teu Verso" has a more grandiose, easy listening kind of feel, albeit with the addition of punchy MPB horns and summery vocals so infectious that you'll be singing them in the shower in no time at all.
Review: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series rarely misses a beat, with each successive seven-inch showcasing two more hard-to-find treats from the dim and distant past. The latest instalment opens with "Vou Morar No Teu Sorriso", a sought-after cut from Trio Tenura's eponymous 1971 MPB/soul fusion album. It's a genuinely summery treat, with ear-catching, reverb-heavy vocals and rising horn lines rising above a life-affirming backing track. On the flip you'll find "Quem Vai Querer", the title track from a superb 1977 album by Eliana Pittman. A breezy chunk of sizzling samba-soul, the cut features an impeccable lead vocal from Pittman and some sing-along group chorus vocals
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!
Review: Originally out in 1970 on his own self-titled album, Arthur Verocai's "Sylvia" is a peach of a song, one of those sweet and bubbly percussive tunes that blur the lines between modern civilization and the jungle. The Brazilian composer's music has been heavily sought-after in its original format, and Mr Bongo delivers here in fine style with another killer from the LP, "Na Boco Do Sol". Fans of Marcos Valle will appreciate this one for the slow magnetic waves permeating from just about every angle on the record.