Tag: Pan Africanism

The Soul of Black Brazil (2004)

 

I realized some people may be coming to this site from Discogs….I’m not so sure you’re interested in the new music and artists I’ve posted about lately, I figure you’re into Brazilian funk from the 1960’s and 1970’s…I love that stuff, don’t get me wrong. But I’m restless by nature and there’s so much good music to explore throughout the “Brazilian Diaspora” and Lusophone world, that I can’t just focus on that genre and time in this blog.

If you’re looking for specialists, check out DJ Greg Caz, DJ Questlove’s dedicated set (April 2020), Epic Vinyls from Brazil (they also did a special Afro Brazil Orixa mixtape series that is dope), Mayer Hawthorne’s Christmas Caipirinhas mix, and “The Soul of Black Brazil“, a podcast from Afropop Worldwide that first aired in 2004.

Martinho da Vila, “Lusofonia” (2000)

I’ve been meaning to post about this album for the longest. I was introduced to it around 2007 and it became a fast favorite, introducing me to rhythms, history, artists, and lands of the “Lusophone” world. Cabo Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, Angola, Guinea Bissau. Maybe it can be called a fusion album — samba and  lots of pandeiro but with lilting bass lines, cheerful horn arrangements and guitar riffs that are undoubtedly African. It felt like traveling without moving. It may have been the first time I heard different Portuguese language accents besides Brazilian in song. I was already a fan of beloved living samba legend Martinho da Vila, and this album made me appreciate his oeuvre even more.

 

I’m tempted to skip ballad “Vasco da Gama” (ft. Mart’nalia) and slow march/marchinha “Viva Timor Leste” (ft. Luis Represas), which recount significant histories pertaining to the Portuguese empire. One covers exploration/conquest, the other revolution, so I guess I appreciate the balance there. Taking the album as a whole I can dig that those songs were included for their slower tempos and rounding out the variety of rhythms. Besides, I’d rather learn history via song than read it, and I always appreciate a larger historical context for the music I enjoy.

Favorite track: “Carambola (São Tomé e Príncipe)”.