Samba and bossa nova meet soul, funk and electronica on this upbeat collection of modern Brazilian music
The world has had a love affair with Brazilian music since the early part of the 20th century, when the exotic maxixe rhythm was the lambada of its day. In the 1940s, Carmen Miranda brought the alluring flavors of Brazilian music to an international audience. In 1959, the film Black Orpheus won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and helped ignite a bossa nova craze whose flames were fanned by the 1962 Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz album Jazz Samba. Soon, artists like Herbie Mann, Sergio Mendes, Cannonball Adderley and others were popularizing the compositions of Antonio Carlos Jobim,Vinicius de Moraes and other legendary composers of Brazilian music.
To this day, Brazilian rhythms and melodies turn up as a backdrop in everything from easy listening to rock and roll. Countless popular artists, from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis, Paul Simon to Sting have incorporated Brazilian flavors into their music. Meanwhile, artists in
Brazil have borrowed from the jazz, rock and pop idioms to create styles like tropicalismo, Brazilian jazz, MPB (Música Popular Brasileira – Popular Brazilian Music) and new fusions that
cross musical boundaries.
Today, a new generation of artists both in Brazil and abroad have begun to include influences of electronic music, house, funk, soul, contemporary R&B and more, resulting in a modern sound that is animating dance floors in hip nightclubs from London to L.A. European and Japanese DJs began the trend in the 1990s by using Brazilian samba and bossa nova as the inspiration for cutting-edge techno, triphop, drum and bass and house experimentations. The retro flavors of jazzy bossa nova and the primal beats of samba added an exotic flavor to the dance floor and helped make the classic Brazilian sound of the 60s hip again.
Meanwhile, in Brazil, local artists were beginning to notice the way in which foreign producers were capitalizing on their music, and they began to reclaim their prominence by showing the world that they could also use the tools of electronic music to add new elements to local rhythms. Programmed beats, samples, scratching, and other tricks of the DJ trade have begun to turn up in music produced in Brazil and today there is a thriving electronica and dance music scene in Rio and São Paulo.
Brazilian Groove focuses on the way these contemporary influences have been blended with the traditional elements of Brazilian music. Samba and bossa nova are the predominant inspirations, but there are also experiments with less familiar rhythms, such as the percussive afoxé performed by the bloco afro of Bahia and the bouncy beats of côco from Brazil’s northeast. Funk, reggae, soul and R&B also make their presence known on the songs included here.