This is a highly underrated album, a result of Gil’s trip to Lagos with Caetano Veloso. Caetano recorded “Bicho”, also a classic, but this record holds its own against it any day. In my opinion, this is the last of Gil’s records that you can truly call a “classic.” It’s groundbreaking stuff that presages “world music” but the production values here are still nice, warm, and analog (no Peter Gabriel “Real World studios” sounding stuff here!).
Contains complete artwork!!
Review by Philip Jandovský
Unlike his friend and fellow Brazilian musical legend, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, through the years, has had a strong tendency to follow the temporary shifts in styles and trends that occur within popular music. Because of this the music of Gil usually has sounded very up to date when it was released, but often his recordings haven’t at all aged as gracefully as the timeless music of Caetano Veloso. The tracks on many of the albums of Gilberto Gil have also been of very uneven quality. Refavela is clearly one of the exceptions to this rule. Heavily inspired by traditional African and Afro-Brazilian sounds and rhythms, the songs on this album have aged very well indeed. The title of the album, Refavela, of course, refers to the slum quarters found in the large Brazilian cities, which are called favelas. Among the more famous songs on this album are the beautiful title track, “Refavela,” the funky “Babá Alapalá,” and the Afro-Brazilian rhythmic “Patuscada de Gandhi” and “Ilê Ayê.” There is also a cover of Tom Jobim’s “Samba do Avião.” Refavela is, without doubt, one of the most consistent and probably the best of all albums recorded by Gilberto Gil.
Nelson Angelo e Joyce
Released as Odeon SMOFB 3734 in 1972
Reissued in 2006 on Discos Mariposas, Argentina
This is a beautiful, haunting album. It captures the dreamy, wistful saudades of the Clube da Esquina album with its bucolic, pastoral stroll tinged with psychedelia. And no wonder — it features a great deal of the same people. Nelson Angelo wrote a lot of stuff on that record, along with Ronaldo Bastos and Marcio Borges, both represented here too. In all the hipster attention to Brazilian music that erupted since the late 90s, most attention has been payed to the Tropicalistas, a scene involving mostly Baianos working in São Paulo and then spreading to Rio. The Clube da Esquina hailed from Minas Gerais and gets sort of neglected, in spite of Milton Nascimento’s later fame as a ‘cross-over’ jazz-fusion-pop sensation. Between 1970 and 1976 this group of musicians all played on each other’s records and created some of the most effecting, textured sounds coming from anywhere in the world. I can’t recommend this enough, for fans of the Nascimento/Lo Borges “Clube da Esquina” record, for fans of Joyce’s body of work, for fans of Brazilian music in general, and just for lovers of other-worldly music from the early 70s! It’s short and sweet, and so is this description — I wish I had the time, or the words, worthy of this record. But it’s been ‘in the cue’ for a while and I just want to share it already…
Note: I made full art scans of this record, but I did it a long while ago at some resolution higher than 600 dpi, which means the art folder is 190MB… Most people don’t care that much, I think. If anybody really wants it, leave a comment and I’ll upload it and/or resize them down to 300 dpi for more manageable size (but you’ll have to wait about 3 weeks…)
Some great funk here and a classic still going strong! I´ve enjoyed this album so many times and I was thinking there might be some not listened to it yet. Now´s your chance!
Review by Phil Jandovsky, All Music Guide
This 1976 album is undoubtedly one of the greatest classics of Brazilian popular music, with Jorge Ben mixing funky samba, Afro-Brazilian beats, and crunching guitars to create one of the most fascinating sounds ever recorded in Brazil. The album kicks off with the raw, energetic “Ponta de Lança Africano,” and from there on it never slows down, but continues to pile up one fiery, funky gem after the other. The samba soul and samba funk scenes of the ’70s in Brazil produced many great artists and many great recordings, fully comparable with the best soul and funk music recorded in the U.S. during the same period. Jorge Ben was the most prominent figure of this scene and África Brasil is probably the most famous of his ’70s recordings. For any person who is interested in the music of Jorge Ben, or indeed Brazilian funk in general, there is no better sample of it than África Brasil.
1 Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)
2 Hermes Trimegisto Escreveu
3 O Filosofo
4 Meus Filhos, Meu Tesouro
5 O Plebeu
6 Taj Mahal
7 Xica da Silva
8 Historia de Jorge
9 Camisa 10 da Gavea
10 Cavaleiro Do Cavalo Imaculado
11 África Brasil (Zumbi)