April 15 2009
Wednesday's Sound Travels leans a bit towards Brazil, which is biased I admit, but that don't make it bad. I have always loved Brazilian guitar, and if I could play any instrument like one culture in particular, it would be Brazilian guitar. Since the case that is true is not that, my only recourse is to play some of my faves on ST.
And I started with one from Caetano Veloso, pioneer that he was, the start seemed appropriate as he was among the first in a wave that would come to be known as Tropicalia(or Tropicalismo). Here I have a very mellow melody from the man and his guitar, the very nice "O Leãozinho." A bit of Badi Assad's etherial "Asa Branca" was my talkover spot that I left pristine for the web mix. And a bit more of that acoustic Chinese music, it's on a label called MicroMu that...
is a new record label out of Beijing who is trying to change the way musicians, fans and brands engage with music in China. The MicroMu label lives around its blog, releasing the free downloads, along with editorials, artist interviews and advice for aspiring songwriters/producers/label owners. The blog approach is a great way to give context to the music, providing background and meaning to an otherwise amorphous scene. -Sean Leow
And I really couldn't have said it better myself, though I still wish I could read Chinese cause this cut ain't bad at all.
Arturo Veroçai's "O Mapa," is haunting and spectral with a male chorus of singers supporting him, moving my mix. Into another favorite, I LOVE this song by MPB-4 and written by my guy Chico Buarque; "Partido Alto," the most beautiful Brazilian harmonies this side of their all-female counterparts, Quarteto Em Cy. And while I suspect that the gnawa that I played was from Nass el Ghiwan, we shall never know since the details I have on this hookup are scant indeed. But it does set the way for the end of my set today.
Jorge Ben Jor's "Oba, Lá Vem Ela" is just one of the many excellent cuts on his ironically titled Força Bruta. An album that dropped in 1970, and is prototypical Tropicalia, crucial. As is the Jaime Santos cut at the end of the set today. Santos, who used to hang out with Louis Armstrong back in the day, was one of the greats in his era as a player of the oud-like Portuguese guitar, and ending our trip today with a bit of fado. If you missed it, here you go...
Sound Travels Wednesday : Global Acoustics
1. Caetano Veloso : "O Leãozinho" Caetano Veloso
2. Badi Assad : "Asa Branca" Verde
3. 刚子 : "舞动" 蓝色的故乡 EP
4. Arturo Veroçai : "O Mapa" Arturo Veroçai
5. MPB-4 : "Partido Alto"
6. Unknown North African Gnawa
7. Jorge Ben Jor : "Oba, Lá Vem Ela" Força Bruta
8. Jaime Santos : "Variaçoes en Menor"
Couldn't find any old video of Jaime, but I believe this is his son, and another great scene from Carlos Saures' film Fados...