Various ‘Brazilian Beats Vol. 7’ (Mr. Bongo) 4/5

Brazilian-Beats-Vol7Latin music specialist label Mr Bongo has always devoted plenty of attention to the myriad styles that encompass the Brazilian music scene and, in its latest compilation of sounds old and new, has come up with a winning combination of the classic as well as the relatively unknown. For fans of twenty-first century hip-hop meets electronica Brazilian urban sounds, ‘Boa Noite’ by Carol Conka has become a favourite of radio presenters and with the intoxicating mixture of rhythms it is easy to understand why. The north-east of Brazil has been a traditional hot bed of innovative sounds and ‘Isso é bonito’ by Odair Cabeça de Poeta is a fine example of the kind of music currently in vogue. More traditional samba devotees will most certainly not feel left out, however, for there are some tasty updates as on Junip’s reworking of ‘Oba, la vem ela’ which is an anthemic song in its original from the mighty Jorge Ben, authentic escola de samba is illustrated by the male lead and female backing vocals of Som Sete and ‘Esquindindin’ and instrumentally (plus chorus) by Junior com Orquestra e Coro with a footballing medley on ‘O campeão hindo do Flamengo’. Just in case you might feel overwhelmed by the new sounds, Mr Bongo have wisely tempered this by including a few all-time Brazilian classics and these include Quarteto Novo and the sublime ‘Misturada’ with Hermeto Pascoal on flute and some killer samba pop from Djavan with ‘Nereci’ where the influence of Steve Wonder can be heard. Arguably the most pleasant surprise of all is a gorgeous early 1970s slice of MPB-inflected samba from Claudia, who sounds as though she has been listening intently to Elis Regina, on ‘Deixa eu dizer’. All in all a splendid summation of Brazilian music and worthy of your attention.

Tim Stenhouse