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.
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: For the latest volume in their ongoing Brazil 45s series, Mr Bongo has decided to change tack. The two tracks showcased here are from the golden age of Brazilian boogie. On the A-side you'll find Marcos Valle's "A Paraiba Nao E Chicago", a largely overlooked cut from his 1981 full-length Vontade De Rever Voce. While not as instantly as infectious as some of his better-known singles, it's still superb; a breezy, blue-eyed soul cut full of rising horns and sweet Portuguese vocals. On the B-side, you'll find Don Beto's 1978 disco-funk jam "Nao Quero Mais", a superb track that was seemingly inspired by the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running".
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: Three stunning flavours on Mr Bongo, none of which have ever been released on 45" before... Trio Mocoto - famously the backing band for Jorge Ben - lay down a frenetic samba where the group vocals take full lead of a sprightly groove with tinkling keys. Jazz Tenorio Jr's "Nebulosa" is exemplary jazz bossa, all heavy keys and creative drama. Finally Trio drummer Jorge Autuori gets representation with the lavish key-heavy samba "Autorizando". Each one a stunner, Mr Bongo have delivered once again
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: Mr Bongo's Brazil 45s series continues its consistently rich vein of form with two more beautifully contrasting - and previously difficult to track down - Brazilian soul jazz fusions from the 70s. Side A is inhabited by one of the era's most interesting individuals. Infamously censored and eventually exiled, Taiguara's chaotic flute, guitar and piano arrangement is a tight weave of melodies, counter melodies and start dynamics. Flip for the classically soul-oriented "Deixa Eu Te Amar" will bright horns, brash drums and a bold vocal from Marisa Rossi. Pow.
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: 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: 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.
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: The 62nd single in Mr Bongo's long-running Brazil 45s series is notable for containing Jose Prates' "Nana Imboro", a deep, hypnotic and intoxicating samba cut that was initially recorded and released way back in 1958. Relatively slow and steady by samba standards, its chanted refrain is thought to be the inspiration for Jorge Ben's much better known "Mas Que Nada". Wisely, Mr Bongo has backed Prates' sublime original with a 1960 cover by obscure Polish outfit Wroblewski Jazz Quintet. This dispenses with the chanting, instead increasing the number of intertwined horn parts. Given that original copies of the rare Polish EP it first appeared on will set you back serious money, it's great to see this fine cover included here.
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.
Review: Two powerful bossa nova workouts from 1972: Brazilian chanteuse Rose Maria delivered two incredible funk jams on Tapecar which escaped her prolific album releases and never enjoyed a repress. Until now... The Afro-Latin soul of "Deixa Nao Deixa" is all about the sudden dynamic from purring verses to emphatic, harmonic chorus while "Avenida Atlantica" takes a more straight-up funk route with its dominant horns and heavy boss break. Instant party material.
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: 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: Jane, Roberto, and Sidey Morais - Brazil's Os Tres Morais - are placed alongside the wonderful Claudia for the latest all Brazilian showdown courtesy of the always point-side Brazil45 series from the Mr. Bongo label. The latter gives us the mythical "Garra", a tune that sits very nicely next to the likes of Marcos Valle and co, and the singing trio get a reissue of 2006's "Freio Aerodinamico", a gorgeous blend of samba, disco, and something perfectly exotic and vintage. Heart-warmers.
Review: Supreme musica popular Brasileira and bossa-nova vibes here on two tracks from Mr Bongo's leading Brazilian 45's lady, Claudia. "Deixa o Morro Cantar" features on Claudia's very first 7", released in 1965 by RGE Brazil. Her version of "Mas Que Nada" is said to be more of a jazzy/folk-funk take on the Ben classic. A relatively recent discovery made during the label's last trip to Brazil, Maria das Gracas Rallo was born in 1946 in Rio de Janeiro. She has become the most awarded singer outside of her home country and was most popular internationally in 1982 with the song "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from the musical Evita. Moreover, she has recorded over twenty albums and has amassed huge record sales throughout her successful career.
Review: Moving further into the '70s Brazilian scene, Mr Bongo delivers two supreme pop scorchers by Celia, the sweet-faced artiste who released so much great music back in the day. Her "Na Boca Do Sol" is a gentle soul journey that brings out the best in her own voice, and in the Brazilian style of that era. "A Hora E Essa" is more of a dancefloor tune, more uptempo and less reliant on the sensuality and sexiness of the A-side. Excellent, as per usual.
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: Mr Bongos hit paydirt once again with their Brazil 45s series, with this 11th seven featuring a pair of Latin gems from Joao Bosco and Antonio Adolfo E A Brazuca that have never been pressed on 7" before. In original form, "O Ronco Da Cuica" was a certified highlight of the prolific Bosco's 1976 LP Galos de Briga, the supple bossanova groove truly blessed by some excellent vocal harmonies when the chorus hits. Those sample freaks in search of a killer break will however gravitate to the B Side jazz fusion bomb "Transamonica" from Antonio Adolfo E A Brazuca as it's packed full of them!
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: For the latest release on their on-point Brasil 45s sub-label, Mr Bongo takes a trip back to 1977, and the early days of legendary fusion outfit Banda Black Rio. Both the cuts here are taken from the band's brilliant debut album, Maria Fumaca, and see them fusing Brasilian samba and jazz sounds with the righteous, dancefloor-friendly grooves of funk and disco. "Maria Fumaca" itself is a deliciously sunny and sweaty affair, with punchy horns, eyes-closed guitar solos and jazz-funk electic piano lines rising above a carnival-ready samba-funk groove. The U.S funk influence comes to the fore more on flipside "Mr Funky Samba", which sounds like Azymuth jamming with members of the T.K Disco, Philadelphia International and Salsoul house bands. Yep, it's that good.
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.