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: 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: The latest volume in Mr Bongo's brilliant Brazil 45 series offers up a pair of MPB gems that have previously never featured on seven-inch before. Side A is all about Marcia Maria's 1978 cut "Amigo Branco", a disco-era interpretation of Djalma Dias' 1974 track "Nada Sei De Preconceito". Maria's cover is jaunty, colourful and ear-catching, pushing jaunty organs, sharp horns and spacey synth lines towards the ear alongside her passionate, full-throated lead vocal. Over on side B you'll find "Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser", an overlooked gem plucked from MPB artist Simone's self-titled 1973 debut LP. More rooted in samba, it's a lilting, string-laden chunk of emotional sweetness.
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: 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.
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.
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