In House #1762: Forro In the Dark's Bonfires of Sao Jao; Latest Caetano Veloso
To begin with a little background, forro is a popular style of music and dance originating in Brazil's northeastern region. In its most traditional form the genre calls for a trio consisting of accordion, zabumba, and triangle, although several off-shoots and sub-genres have reimagined the sound and configuration of the original form. Taking this tio the extreme, perhaps, is New York City's Forro In the Dark, a sextet that has gained an impassioned following largely through the Wednesday night residency they've held at Club Nublu over the past four years or so. Originally assembled as a one-off for a friend's birthday party, the group's sound might be described as a form of forro heavily fortified with pop, rock, and other flavors (the occasional spaghetti western flair thrown in, for example). They've recently issued their second album, entitled Bonfires of Sao Jao, on which they find plenty of help from the likes of David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto, and Cibo Matto's Miho Hatori, among others. The selections include a Byrne-fronted take on Luiz Gonzaga's "Asa Branca," showing just how far their apple falls from the forro tree by covering one of the signature songs by the man who almost single-handedly put the traditional form of the style on the map. Elsewhere are sizzling dance numbers like "Que Que Tu Fez," and smoky, laid-back instrumentals like the saxophone driven "Cajuina." The album is out on the Nublu label.
Also today, we get to several selections from the outstanding compilation Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound, released earlier this year by the Soul Jazz label. The collection celebrates the artistic and political movement known as "Tropicalia" that grew out of Brazil in the late 1960's, largely in reaction to a repressive military dictatorship. Included are the works of six artists central to its musical manifestation, including Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, Tom Ze, Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, and Caetano Veloso, the latter two of whom were famously imprisoned by the government for their art and later exiled. The twenty tracks serve as a solid primer to a fascinating, albeit brief musical direction, combining the psychedelic leanings of Sgt. Pepper with the bossa nova of Brazilians like Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
In House #1762.
Focus: Recent release from Forro In the Dark, Bonfires of Sao Jao, plus the latest from Caetano Veloso and selections from the 2006 compilation Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound, featuring Veloso, Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Tom Ze, and others.
From Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound:
Gilberto Gil: "Procissão" (MP3)
Caetano Veloso: "Tropicália" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #221
Get Tropicalia at Insound.