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{música popular brasileira + samba + beijinhos gostosos + forró + baile funk + capoeira + tesão + bossa nova + balanço + chorinho + beleza + tropicália + o jeitinho brasileiro +orixas + maracatu + frevo + carnaval + nova iorque + saudades do brasil = the brazilian muse}

sábado, março 03, 2007

Brazilian Beat Brooklyn: Carnaval vs Mardi Gras

Carnaval 2007
Originally uploaded by OLD SKOOL Cora.
Tomorrow, Sunday March 4th, I'll be seeing you all for a little Carnaval celebration (never mind that the actual Carnaval already happened and we're now in the season of Lent). My favorite DJs in the whole wide world, Greg Caz and Sean Marquand, are doing their yearly Carnaval party and here's how Time Out NY magazine describes it:
Sean Marquand and Greg Caz (who have just released an edifying new compilation on the Mr. Bongo label) spin vintage Brazilian music--plenty of bossa nova and samba, along with the country’s funk, soul and rock--at Williamsburg hangout Black Betty’s long-running Sunday-night affair. Tonight, the crew are celebrating the Brazilian Carnaval season (a little late, but what the heck) by going toe-to-toe with the equally unpunctual Big Easy proponents Gerald McBoing Boing and Monk One in a party-time soundclash. Go to brazilianbeatbrooklyn.com for more info.
Black Betty, 366 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L train to Lorimer / G train to Metropolitan

domingo, março 26, 2006

The Brazilian Muse Spring Party--Saturday, April 1st

The Brazilian Muse Spring Party, originally uploaded by alizinha.

I know I've been missing in action, after a brief return in early '06, but I have an excuse. I was busy training for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon but now that THAT is over, I'm focusing my attention on celebrating the end of cold weather and the beginning of my Birthday Month. My actual birthday doesn't come til the middle of April but Nichelle and girly nyc and I decided that we should kick off my birthday month on April Fool's Day. But it's no joke, we really are going to have a birthday party/spring party/Brazilian party at Lava Gina this Saturday night. Hope to see you all there! RSVP to the Evite HERE.

sexta-feira, janeiro 06, 2006

L.I.C.K. MY FAVELA--Saturday at Nublu

Tetine at TESCO, originally uploaded by alizinha.

Gonna try to hit this on Saturday along with a couple of birthday parties. Let me know if you're going, too:

This Saturday night, the London-based duo Tetine play from their brand new album L.I.C.K MY FAVELA (Slum Dunk Music) at Nublu.

Expect a sweaty live set of dirty disco punk + funk carioca beats + autobiographical imagery + hip-grinding evening of fresh, booty-shaking sounds from the hills and beyond. We call it Punk Carioca! Tetine plays two sets of 30 minutes. Come along and do the dance!

Saturday, Jan 7
Doors Open at 8:30
DJ Freddie Mas @ 10:30 Tetine plays @ 12:30 /1:30

Nublu 62 Ave C between East 4th and East 5th NYC
Tetine music available at Amazon.com

quarta-feira, janeiro 04, 2006

Sabadabada.com update!

If you're not already familiar with Sabadabada.com, you should be. It's a Brazilian music collector's website devoted to bossa nova, balanco, and samba records of the 1960s, showcasing their beautiful cover art work as well as MP3 files of the music itself.

There are occasional updates like this one that keep me going back for more:

As promised, I posted up some classic bossa LPs this time. The Mario Telles is a very rare album orchestrated by the legendary Moacir Santos ("Coisas"), and contains the very first recording of "Nana;" Mario Telles and Moacir Santos are given dual writing credit on the song and this is the only LP Telles (Sylvia Telles' brother) ever recorded. The "Brasil Bossa Nova" LP is one of the finest of the Nilo Sergio Nilser label releases. Unfortunately, there are no musician credits on the Nilser LPs, but it contains some beautiful renditions of the most beloved brazilian standards done in an interesting two-song medley format. The two Odeon releases illustrate why Odeon was considered one of the premier bossa nova labels of the period, bosting some of bossa nova's most talented arrangers and musicians. "Uma Rosa Com Bossa" and "Alegria Alegria Vol. 3" are both produced by Milton Miranda with orchestrations by Lyrio Panicali and Meirelles and showcase two of Brazil's greatest bossa vocalists. Wilson Simonal's opening number is pure, white-hot Wilson!

terça-feira, janeiro 03, 2006

Viva Che! Viva Black Betty!

ps_DSC1030, originally uploaded by brianvan.

This photo of the bar at Black Betty makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. That Che bandeira has been there for as long as I can remember, and I will always associate it with Brazilian Beat. Also notice the Greg Caz and Sean Marquand mix CDs for sale (at the bottom of the mirror), along with the new Banda Uniao Black CD that Sean produced (and which I will be reviewing here very soon).

If you saw me on TV in Brazil, you'd let me know, right?

Last year, I was bilingually interviewed for Planeta Brasil, a TV Globo production that airs worldwide, but mostly in Brazil and Latin America.

Funny thing is, this was the second time I've been interviewed for TV Globo. First time was at Black Betty when some Brazilian journalists were doing a story on Brooklyn nightlife, both Brazilophilic and not. In that extremely brief interview, I was asked how I had come to learn to samba so well (by watching and imitating) and speak a bit of Portuguese (by singing along to the music and being curious to understand it).

This time around the interview went much longer and further in depth, and included me showing off this very blog to the interviewer, along with singing along (at their request) with a favorite Caetano song, albeit slightly offkey.

But while I was lucky enough to get my hands on a tape of that first, brief interview, and also had the random luck of friends catching it on TV in Brazil and Nicaragua, this time around, I've had no such luck.

Planeta Brasil couldn't provide me with a videotape, and no one ever came out of the woodwork to say that they had seen it when it aired. Rather strange, considering that this time around the interview would have been long enough to have offered my name on screen and possibly even the address of my blog.

But perhaps you did see it, if you live in Brazil and are reading this now, or if you live in the States but pay for satellite TV that includes TV Globo so you can watch your telenovelas. If you did see it, let me know how I did...

Don't Call It A Comeback

diegogreg2, originally uploaded by Doug_Flowe.

But one of my New Year's resolutions is to start posting here again on a regular basis. Big apologies to all those who emailed me the past few months to encourage my blogging yet saw this page remain silent.

But now I'm back in business, and I hope to be seeing you all on the dancefloor some time soon...

P.S.: This pic above, and the others from my friend Doug's Flickr photoset, are from 2 years ago, unbelievably enough. The Brazilian Beat Brooklyn party is still going strong at Black Betty, and you should check it out if you haven't yet.

quinta-feira, setembro 01, 2005

Brazilian Weekend

Ernest Barteldes writes in this week's New York Press:

On September 7, Brazilians celebrate the end of their country’s rule under the Portuguese crown--a conquest that, unlike most independence movements in the American continent, took place with no bloodshed whatsoever. Over here, the party takes place on Labor Day Weekend, when hordes of fun-loving revelers take the city’s streets for what has become one of the biggest ethnic events in town. To get the party started, the Museum of the Moving Image will present special screenings of Favela Rising, a documentary about Rio de Janeiro’s Afro-Reggae movement—-a story about a man and a movement, and the power of music to unite a community. In between screenings, Brazilian food and drinks available for purchase in the Museum’s courtyard, and live music will be provided by musicians from Astoria’s Brazilian community during the evening.

On Sunday, a gigantic stage will be set up on the intersection of W. 43rd and 6th Ave. to welcome a crowds in the hundreds of thousands to a giant street fair. On stage, Afro-Brazilian band Ara Ketu brings the swing and movement of their native Bahia as they did last year at Summerstage, with a blend of Axé Music, samba, reggae and other Afro beats that fill the streets of Salvador during the four days of Carnaval. The main attraction, however, are brothers Chitaozinho & Chororó, a duo that is credited with modernizing the sound of rural Brazil in the mid-80s by adding electric guitars, keyboards and other instruments to their sound, which ultimately took their music to a mainstream audience that would ordinarily shun at the simple, romantic ballads and songs about life in their country’s inner cities. The gamble worked out, and “The Boys of Brazil,” as they are known by their fans, not only shot to superstardom but helped create the new “sertanejo” (country) musical genre, which blends pop elements with more traditional sounds.

Also on the bill for the afternoon is American gay icon Gloria Gaynor, who has a huge following among Brazilians, and she’ll perform “I Will Survive” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” as she did at the festival last year. If you have any energy left the next day, head to the Blue Note to check out the first U.S. tour of singer songwriter Celso Fonseca, who has his first U.S. solo tour in support of his recently released album, Rive Gauche Rio (Six Degrees). A native of Bahia himself, his style and voice bring to mind a younger Caetano Veloso (with whom Fonseca performed and recorded over the last few years), but with a stronger connection to bossa-nova and West Coast jazz tendencies. His songs have sincere lyrics, backed by sparse instruments.

American Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. (36th St.), Astoria, 718-784-0077; Tues.-Fri 12-5; Sat. & Sun. 11-6, $10, $7.50 st./s.c., $5 child 5-18, child 5 & under free

segunda-feira, julho 25, 2005

Greg Caz + Other Music at APT Tonight (Tues., 7/26)

I'm definitely going to this (around 11ish) and hope to see some of you there:

What's up everybody, I'm highly honored and pleased to have been invited to throw down with the Other Music posse this Tuesday (July 27) at APT for their monthly "Other Music Presents" series. I intend to fully take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate the different aspects and musical passions that make up the Greg Caz Experiencebebel gilberto and greg caz, beyond the samba that my reputation seems to rest on these days (no complaints there, when you've been fighting the good DJ fight as long as I have, it's good to have any kind of a good reputation!). To that end, I'll be running through the funky/psych backstreets of my collection, both Brazilian and non-Brazilian, as well as lots of choice chunks of rock, soul, jazz, sunshine pop, jazzy bits, Latin, Reggae, etc. etc. etc., and even a couple of gems I scored last week in Istanbul. Hope to see you all there, because I promise a very special evening!!!

Check out the Other Music link for more details.

segunda-feira, julho 18, 2005

DJ Greg--Live from Istanbul, Part 2

OK, so Greg's actually back in NYC now as of tonight, but I couldn't pass up his email describing his time in Istanbul at Nublu East:
The gig last night was OFF THE HOOK--especially since Bebel is only traveling with two acoustic guitarists and some programmed percussion. She was wonderful, but people seemed to want to get their boogie on, and boogie they did when I did my thing. It was awesome. If the weather continues to hold up (which it should, today's weather is gorgeous) tonight should be the same. I hope to get invited back soon! Also watching the sunrise with a group of people in Bebel's hotel room directly overlooking the Bosphorus River was an experience I definitely won't be forgetting anytime soon....simply unbelievable....

I agree with Greg's assessment of Bebel's song style--it's sexy in an almost languorous fashion, but it doesn't make you dance. If anything, it makes you want to go skinny dipping. Her voice glides over every available surface, never straining for a high or low note, never overexerting itself. Bebel's voice seems effortless, yet, like her father's, she can make things seem simpler than they actually are.
bebel black and white
When she sings the Vinicius de Moraes/Baden Powell classic, "Samba da Bênção," you'd never know it's a philosophical take on sadness, hope, and the fleeting happiness that can be found only through the succor of samba. Bebel could be singing the proverbial phonebook and you'd think she was telling you she loved you.

But on the second MP3 below, she does sing along those lines: on "Cada Beijo," she's singing about the taste of each kiss, how she longs for the next one. If only all kisses felt as good as this song sounds.

MP3 File--Samba da Bênção, Bebel Gilberto

MP3 File--"Cada Beijo," by Bebel Gilberto

TAGS: , , .

sexta-feira, julho 15, 2005

Greg Caz, Reporting Live from Istanbul

Two days ago I get an email from Greg Casseus, telling me he's leaving the very next day to participate in Nublu East in Istanbul. And just now I got an email update in which Greg makes me really wish I were a DJ:

DAMN---I can't believe I'm in f*cking Istanbul! It's so beautiful here. It's where Eastern Europe meets the Middle East with a hint of Rio or something thrown in. Tonight and tomorrow night I'm doing the DJ sets for Bebel Gilberto's shows here at lovely Nublu East---which is located at a club called the New Yorker (!), which uses the same font as the magazine logo (!!), but has nothing to do with it. It's right on the edge of the Black Sea, and you can see the ferries linking the European and Asian sides of Turkey sailing back and forth. There's a lot of anticipation for Bebel's gigs, so as long as it doesn't rain (this is all taking place outdoors), it should be WICKED.
Also great hanging out with my buddy Pedro Gomes (guitar player, son of Pepeu Gomes and Baby Consuelo of the Novos Baianos, awesome dude), who's accompanying Bebel, both fresh from the Brazilian music festival in Paris which featured Caetano, Gil, Gal, Jorge Ben, Lenine, etc etc etc. So spirits are high in every way (thanks in part to some of Morocco's and Afghanistan's finest exports.....shhhh!!), and we're having a great time. See you next week!!

quinta-feira, julho 14, 2005

Poesia Concreta + Tropicalia

Bat Macumba
(Gilberto Gil/Caetano Veloso)

batmacumbaiéié batmacumbaobá
batmacumbaiéié batmacumbao
batmacumbaiéié batmacumba
batmacumbaiéié batmacum
batmacumbaiéié batman
batmacumbaiéié bat
batmacumbaiéié ba
batmacumbaiéié ba
batmacumbaiéié bat
batmacumbaiéié batman
batmacumbaiéié batmacum
batmacumbaiéié batmacumbao
batmacumbaiéié batmacumbaobá

MP3 File--"Bat Macumba," Os Mutantes

quinta-feira, julho 07, 2005

In the battle of Cuba vs. Brazil...

there were no clear winners. We were supposed to be "voting with our feet" but the dance floor was so packed that it wasn't really possible for people to get on or off of it for various songs.

Whenever I go to Black Betty for Brazilian Beat Brooklyn on a 3-day weekend that involves no work on a Monday, I expect a mob scene. And two Sundays ago was no exception. I had invited a few friends to join me, including a salsa dance-partner who makes me look like a much better salsera than I really am.

As much as I can dance the night away in a crowd of strangers (especially at a place like Black Betty, where the crowd isn't pushy or annoying), it's always fun to have some friends with you. That way you can dance for each others' entertainment, have snatches of conversation between songs, and go get drinks for each other at the bar.

Shake it, woman!, originally uploaded by naftalina007.

But when it comes to salsa, a dance partner really is necessary. Whenever I have tried to dance to salsa on my own, I have felt like half of me was missing. I mean, how can you turn without someone to turn you? Literally. The songs are sometimes fast enough that you need the centrifugal force a partner will exert on you to get you turned around in time for the next beat of the clave. (The physics of salsa, as it were.) And the spontaneity of wondering what move comes next disappears when you don't have a partner deciding that for you. The only reason I'll dance to salsa music on my own is in the hopes that a perceptive gentleman will notice that I want to dance and ask me to do so.

Most Brazilian-music dancing doesn't require a partner (except for forro), but even that's more fun to dance to with some sort of company. Not a clear-cut partner where the man leads and the woman follows, but someone who you're kind of bouncing ideas off of, except instead of ideas, it's dance moves.

MP3 File--"Descarga Fania," Fania-All Stars

MP3 File--"Fever," La Lupe

quarta-feira, julho 06, 2005

Some Sweet Little (Brazilian) Jazz:
Jazzinho at Joe's Pub Tomorrow (7/7)

I'm going, hope to see some of you there:


Thursday July 7
Joe's Pub
9:30 PM

This London based nu-jazz Bossa outfit, led by virtuoso vocalist and songwriter Guida de Palma records and performs a repertoire of original material in her own idiosyncratic style she calls Jazzinho. Jazzinho, which could be translated as "Sweet Little Jazz" is a lucious blend of dance rhythms, Nu-Jazz arrangements, Portuguese traditional instruments, Afro-Brazilian percussions, R&B background vocals with soulful and organic Bossa melodies.
It is mainly in Portuguese, Guida's native language, but some of the lyrics are in English as well. Of her latest album, All Music Guide raves, “It's records like this that might one day make acid jazz guru Gilles Peterson up and quit, so complete is this fusion of jazz, Brazilian, '70s FM soul, and any other sound that evokes the image of congas and sequins. One is left to wonder where else the music could possibly go.”

DJ Rafe Gomez from The Groove Boutique on CD101.9 will spin before and after the set.

I've listened to Jazzinho's latest album just a few times and I'd have to say that it's growing on me. I definitely prefer when Guida sings in Portuguese, but that's just my own Portuguese-language chauvinist tendencies, as her English is excellent. I also love the lush sound of the tracks and am curious to hear if they're able to re-create that live.

But the one thing that I am most astounded by, upon reading Guida's bio, is the fact that the late, great Jaco Pastorius happened to be at her first gig and decided to join her on stage. I can't even imagine what that must've been like--to be a 16-year-old aspiring singer/musician and have a jazz legend just hop up on the stage like that. Personally, I don't think I would've survived...

quarta-feira, junho 29, 2005

Salsa, Samba, and the Wisdom of Knowing the Difference

It happens all too often. I tell someone of my love for Brazilian music, and they'll shoot back with, "Oh, you must love to salsa!" Or maybe they'll just tell their friends how "Allison loves Latin music."
war paint
But no, I protest: it's samba, not salsa, and "Latin" music refers to Spanish-language music from Latin America. Brazilian music is strictly referred to as "Brazilian" (or to the specific genres such as samba, MPB, bossa nova, etc.)

The Latin/Brazilian distinction might seem silly to outsiders, but it arose for a variety of very real reasons: Spanish and Portuguese are two completely different (if related) languages that in many ways divide Latin America's culture and people. Further, this cultural separation led to different rhythms evolving in these different regions. Africa may be the Motherland from which Latin and Brazilian (and U.S.) rhythms originated, but seemingly endless permutations of the past 500 years show no signs of ending.
the pic that became the baile funk CD cover
As I mentioned earlier, this Sunday night, July 3rd, Greg and Sean of Brazilian Beat Brooklyn fame are going to demonstrate what makes Brazilian music Brazilian (and some guest DJs will do their best to show what makes Latin music Latin) at the following event (as described by Greg himself):

I want to let you guys know about a very special event at Black Betty in Williamsburg this Sunday, July 3rd. We're calling it Brazil vs. Cuba, although I personally prefer the term "Samba vs. Salsa." My partner DJ Sean Marquand and I will be facing off against our friends DJ Monk One and DJ Gerald McBoing Boing, each pair on one side of the room, pitting Brazilian music (samba, samba-rock, bossa nova, tropicalia, Afro-Bahian music, MPB, etc) against Latin music (salsa, Afro-Cuban, boogaloo, bomba, plena, merengue, etc). We're gonna have an MC officiating like it was a boxing match, and "la gente" will vote with their feet, as well as learn the difference! It's gonna be amazing.


SUNDAY JULY 3rd (and no work on Monday the 4th!)
at BLACK BETTY, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
366 Metropolitan Ave. at Havemeyer St. 10 PM
(everything Brazilian)

face off against

(two of New York's foremost salsa/boogaloo DJ mavens) for a entertaining and educational showdown of Latin-American musical cultures.

Don't Miss This One!!!

sexta-feira, junho 24, 2005

New York's Finest--in Brazil

For any of my readers who are based in Brazil, and for those of you lucky enough to be in Brazil over the next two weeks, New York's Choro Ensemble is doing their first non-U.S. tour, and it's in Brazil.

So they're taking the choro back to the motherland. Here are the dates:

26 10am Concert at SESC Catanduva--Catanduva City (SP)
28 Choro Ensemble appears at Rede Globo TV "Programa do Jô" from 11pm on.
29 10:30pm concert at "Bleim Bleim" Music Club (São Paulo City)
30 10:30pm concert at "Bleim Bleim" Music Club (São Paulo City)

1 11pm show at "Ó do Borogodó" Music Bar Club (São Paulo City)
3 6pm at "Quiosque" with Daniela Spielman in Rio de Janeiro City
6 7pm concert at the winter project "Veja São Paulo" in Campos do Jordão City (SP)
8 8pm Concert at SESC Sorocaba - Sorocaba City (SP)
9 9pm Concert at "Noite Ilustrada Club" in Atibaia City (SP)
11 Return from SP to NY