Escola Do Brasil


I don’t know when I first came across Brazilian music (probably Astrud Gilberto on the radio or a samba school accompanying Socrates and Zico on TV), but the first time I heard it on a dance floor would have been around 1990 at Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge’s legendary Dingwalls Sunday afternoon sessions in Camden – amid the jazz, soul, and hip hop. Meanwhile, the odd batucada or bossa track piqued my interest on compilations like the Jazz Juice and Totally Wired series, and I soon realized that the older jazz-funk scene had a long history of playing sambas. As the decade went on, Brazilian music became more mainstream, as a Brazilian love affair with Ronaldo, Denilson and Roberto meant Tamba Trio’s version of the Sergio Mendes classic showed up in a Nike advert, bossa rhythms increasingly showed up in nu jazz and house records, and popular artists like Basement Jaxx sampled tracks such as Samba De Flora (soon to appear in another mix).

Most of the Brazilian records I heard early on were courtesy of El Grito, Rob and Neil at the Tun-izzia sessions at the Devonshire Arms and the Cambridge incarnation of World Peace Soul Jazz, two nights whose defining feature was typically the presence of more DJs than punters. Cambridge’s number one latin combo, Boca Loca (El Grito on Wurlitzer and vocals, the Turk on drums, and Mr George on cuica), drew bigger crowds and covered some of these tracks, as well as playing self-penned gems like Bossa For Now. Cambridge School of Samba (bandleader El Grito) proved less popular despite a strong supporting performance at the latin-flavored Summer Madness night at The Junction (this led Chris to conclude the word “latin” was a kiss of death for any DJ night).

122027-aMy earlier Jazz Rooms mixes have often featured Brazilian tunes, but I wanted to do a Brazil-only one to remind me of the Cambridge nights. The mix below starts with a prequel to Encontros by the sadly departed Gato Barbieri. It wouldn’t be a Brazilian mix without a batucada, so a tempo-changing Bob Azzam provides one (a big Russ Dewbury favorite). After a cover of Joao Bosco’s O Ronco Da Cuica and an inevitable Sergio Mendes track, Bosco himself makes an appearance. Sivuca contributes a great version of the Bill Withers classic from his Live at the Village Gate LP. The studio version, which appeared on a different LP and also got a 12″ re-release, was a big hit on Granchester Meadow at an earlier Summer Madness party we held in ’93. The London crew travelled up for the fiesta and, if I remember rightly, an out-of-it Tony appeared sporting giant mirror sunglasses to show his ex-girlfriend exactly what she was missing, before stumbling off to the river to be sick (my own shades apparently led TK Pussy to conclude she’d be sharing a house with a narcissist..)

The holiday atmosphere continues with a track from Astrud Gilberto’s Holiday ’69 LP (first heard when Ethan came up from Soul Jazz and played at King’s). After Musica Popular Brasileira, there are a back-to-back versions of Edu Lobo’s Upa Neghuino – a nod to GP, who would often play Luis Arruda Paez’s orchestral version after Lobo’s. Then a couple of tunes showcase how Brazilian music was adopted to the north and over in Europe: James Brown’s favorite lounge trio cover Marcos Valle’s Os Grilos and Roy Budd of Get Carter fame reminds Sean he needn’t go all the way to Ipanema Beach. A few more follow, including Marcos himself, and the mix ends with Os Devaneios, which Jankster and I first heard in Bolivia not Brazil, courtesy of Avolta! radio.

  1. To Be Continued – Gato Barbieri
  2. Batucada Por Favor – Bob Azzam
  3. Ronco Da Cuica – Viva Brasil
  4. Casa Forte – Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66
  5. Escadas Da Penha – Joao Bosco
  6. Fio Maravilha – Tania Maria
  7. Ain’t No Sunshine (Live) – Sivuca
  8. Beginnings – Astrud Gilberto
  9. Vera Cruz – MPB4
  10. Upa Neguinho – Elis Regina
  11. Upa Neguinho – Doc Severinson & Strings
  12. Crickets Sing For Anamaria – The Dee Felice Trio
  13. The Girl From Southend On Sea – Roy Budd
  14. Misturada – Quarteto Novo
  15. Proton, Electron, Neutron – Marcos Valle
  16. Ossain – Antonio Carlos & Jocafi
  17. Embalo Differente – Os Devaneios





~ by ricardosevere on 06/12/2016.

2 Responses to “Escola Do Brasil”

  1. Top post Ricardo. Only just getting round to seeing it now. Ace

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