Mar 21, 2017

RhoDeo 1712 Roots


The music of Brazil encompasses various regional music styles influenced by African, European and Amerindian forms. After 500 years of history, Brazilian music developed some unique and original styles such as samba, bossa nova, MPB, sertanejo, pagode, tropicalia, choro, maracatu, embolada (coco de repente), mangue bit, funk carioca (in Brazil simply known as Funk), frevo, forró, axé, brega, lambada, and Brazilian versions of foreign musical genres, such as Brazilian rock and rap.

Today's artist while many of the performers during the heyday of Tropicalia and the rise of MPB (música popular brasileira) opted for a more radical stance in their challenge to Brazil's political and cultural authorities, artists like Jorge Ben took a more understated approach. Rather than use overly theatrical performance to shock the audience or write songs loaded with political content, Ben became known as one of the country's great musical alchemists, a furiously eclectic songwriter who combined elements of indigenous Brazilian music with a groove from the west coast of Africa.  With that he became one of the most respected and resilient figures in Brazilian pop.  ...  N'Joy

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Born (March 22, 1945) Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes in Rio de Janeiro, he first took the stage name Jorge Ben after his mother's name (of Ethiopian origin) but in the 1980s changed it to Jorge Ben Jor (commonly written Benjor). Jorge Ben obtained his first pandeiro (Brazil's most popular type of tambourine) when he was thirteen, and two years later, was singing in a church choir. He also took part as a pandeiro player in the blocos of Carnaval, and from eighteen years of age, he began performing at parties and nightclubs with the guitar that his mother gifted him. He received the nickname "Babulina", after their enthusiastic pronunciation of Ronnie Self's song "Bop-A-Lena". Was presented to Tim Maia by Erasmo Carlos, soon discovered that Maia was also known for the same reason. It was at one of those clubs in which he performed that his musical career took off. In 1963, Jorge came on stage and sang "Mas Que Nada" to a small crowd that happened to include an executive from the recording company, Philips. One week later, Jorge Ben's first single was released.

The hybrid rhythms that Jorge employed brought him some problems at the start of his career, when Brazilian music was split between the rockier sounds of the Jovem Guarda and traditional samba with its complex lyrics. But as that phase in Brazilian pop music history passed, and bossa nova became better known throughout the world, Ben rose to prominence.
Holdings both television programs O Fino da Bossa and Jovem Guarda from Rede Record, after being reprimanded by the production of "O Fino da Bossa", chose to participate in the Jovem Guarda, soon after, joined the program Divino, Maravilhoso from TV Tupi, presented by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil.

Jorge Ben's first public appearances were in small festivals organised by his friends, where bossa nova and rock and roll predominated. As with most musicians of the time, Ben was initially influenced by João Gilberto even though he was quite innovative in his own right. The aforementioned song, "Mas Que Nada", was his first big hit in Brazil, and remains to this day the most played song in the United States sung entirely in Portuguese.[citation needed] Outside of Brazil, the song is better known in cover versions by Sérgio Mendes and the Tamba Trio. The song has also been reinterpreted by jazz luminaries such as Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie and Al Jarreau; as well as other samba artists of the time, such as Elza Soares. His musical work has been vastly sampled by music producers and DJ's, and covered by many bands in a variety of genres such as heavy metal, disco, rock, reggae, jazz, drum and bass, house music and more.

In 1969, Jorge Ben released his self-titled album amid the excitement of the cultural and musical Tropicália movement. The album featured Trio Mocotó as his backing band, who would go on to launch a successful career on the back of their association with Ben. The album was noted for "País Tropical," one of his most famous compositions, although it would be Wilson Simonal who would take his recording of the song to the top of the charts in Brazil that same year. Instead, the song "Charles, Anjo 45", also from the self-titled album, would become Ben's biggest self-performed chart hit of the year.

In the 1970s, Jorge Ben released his most esoteric and experimental albums, most notably A Tábua de Esmeralda in 1974 and Solta o Pavão in 1975. In 1976, he released one of his most popular albums: "África Brasil," a fusion of funk and samba which relied more on the electric guitar than previous efforts. This album also features a remake of his previously released song "Taj Mahal," from which Rod Stewart's 1979 hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? was plagiarized (a matter that he claimed was settled out of court in his favor).

In 1989, Jorge changed his recording label as well as his artistic name, becoming Jorge Benjor (or Jorge Ben Jor). At the time, it was said that there were numerological reasons for his change in name; other sources say it was in response to an incident where some of his royalties accidentally went to American guitarist George Benson. In 2002, Jorge Ben contributed to the critically acclaimed Red Hot + Riot, a compilation CD created by the Red Hot Organization in tribute to the music and work of Nigerian musician, Fela Kuti, that raised money for various charities devoted to raising AIDS awareness and fighting the disease. He collaborated with fellow hip-hop artists Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, and Bilal to remake the famous song by Fela Kuti, "Shuffering and Shmiling," for the CD.

In 2006, a remake of Ben's "Mas Que Nada" became an international chart hit for Sérgio Mendes with The Black Eyed Peas after being used by Nike in a global TV advertisement during the 2006 FIFA World Cup; this remake (the second time Mendes had covered the track) reached the Top 10 in several European countries, including the UK and Germany, in addition to reaching Number 1 in the Netherlands. Jorge Ben is also a big fan of Flamengo, a Brazilian football club, located in Rio de Janeiro, which counts Zico, Junior and Leandro among their former star players. Ben's interest in football carries over to his music, as many of his songs deal with the subject, such as "Flamengo," "Camisa 10 da Gávea," "Ponta De Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)," "Zagueiro," and "Filho Maravilha."

On July 7, 2007 he performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro. On March 20, 2011 his name was mentioned in President Barack Obama's speech in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Theatro Municipal (Rio de Janeiro). President Barack Obama quoted: "You are, as Jorge Ben-Jor sang, “A tropical country, blessed by God, and beautiful by nature.”"

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This is an underrated record, Ben with a super-tight band revisiting a lot of his earlier material. Even today his shows follow the format presented here -- medleys of some of his biggest hits that flow into each other seamlessly. Some people have commented that the versions here are inferior to the originals, but I feel that is beside the point. This is Jorge Ben as he was coming into his sound associated with the Black Power movement in Brazil, very soulful stuff, reinventing his formative 'samba-rock' / bossa material.

Jorge Ben - 10 Anos Depois (flac  286mb)

01 Por Causa De Vocë, Menina / Chove Chuva / Mas Que Nada 4:12
02 Agora, Ninguém Chora Mais / Charles, Anjo 45 / Caramba!... Galileu Da Galileia 5:23
03 A Minha Menina / Que Maravilha / Zazuiera 6:00
04 Bebete Vãobora / Crioula / Cadê Tereza 4:44
05 País Tropical / Fio Maravilha / Taj Majal 5:53
06 Vendedor De Bananas / Cosa Nostra / Bicho Do Mato 6:30
07 Que Nega É Essa / Que Pena / Domingas 7:30
08 Vinheta 0:26

Jorge Ben - 10 Anos Depois   (ogg  102mb)

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A Tábua de Esmeralda (together with Jorge Ben's 1976 album África Brasil) could be said to represent the creative culmination of his astonishing '70s. The music that Ben recorded during this period had tremendous influence on Brazilian musicians at that time and to a great extent helped to ignite the creative explosion that took place in the Brazilian samba rock and samba soul scenes during the '70s. The sound on this particular album is very simple, with the songs being driven by Ben's characteristic acoustic guitar playing together with a bass guitar and percussion. Floating in the background on several tracks are also some nice string arrangements and a double bass. The melodies are magnificently crafted, managing to be catchy and free-flowing without ever feeling banal or predictable. One of many great songs on this album is the upbeat opening track, "Os Alquimistas Estão Chegando," with its funny lyrics about alchemists. Other especially fine moments are the space-themed "Errare Humanum Est," "Zumbi," with its Africa-inspired lyrics, "Cinco Minutos," and "Magnolia." A Tábua de Esmeralda belongs in the record collection of any fan of Ben's music and is also a great starting point for someone who wants an introduction to his work.

Jorge Ben - A Tábua De Esmeralda   (flac  269mb)

01 Os Alquimistas Estão Chegando Os Alquimistas 3:16
02 O Homem Da Gravata Florida (A Gravata Florida De Paracelso) 3:06
03 Errare Humanum Est 4:55
04 Menina Mulher Da Pele Preta 2:56
05 Eu Vou Torcer 3:13
06 Magnólia 3:13
07 Minha Teimosia, Uma Arma Pra Te Conquistar 2:43
08 Zumbi 3:29
09 Brother 2:54
10 O Namorado Da Viúva 2:02
11 Hermes Trismegisto E Sua Celeste Tábua De Esmeraldas 5:28
12 Cinco Minutos (5 Minutos) 2:57

Jorge Ben - A Tábua De Esmeralda    (ogg   99mb)

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An overlooked and underestimated work from a great brazilian artist, Solta o Pavão may be one of the best works of Jorge Ben. The album, which, according to Ben himself, is a continuation of the classic A Tábua De Esmeralda, of 1974.  Yet, he introduced several innovations - occasional ARP strings or flute arrangements, prominent e-bass, but he generally kept the sound close to that of his last few albums. There are no bad songs in this album. I would highlight Zagueiro, Dorothy and Jesualda - awesome works. Luz polarizada and Cuidado com o bulldog are a bit uninteresting, but the rest of the album is excellent. Very recommended in spite of its little fame or recognition.

Jorge Ben - Solta o Pavao (flac 266mb)

01 Zagueiro 3:05
02 Assim Falou Santo Tomaz De Aquino 3:04
03 Velhos, Flores, Criancinhas E Cachorros 3:16
04 Dorothy 3:58
05 Cuidado Com O Bulldog 2:53
06 Para Ouvir No Rádio (Luciana) 4:20
07 O Rei Chegou, Viva O Rei 3:03
08 Jorge De Capadócia 3:53
09 Se Segura Malandro 2:53
10 Dumingaz 3:30
11 Luz Polarizada 2:20
12 Jesualda 4:06

Jorge Ben - Solta o Pavao   (ogg   103mb)

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Recorded with little rehearsal and only two acoustic guitars (plus a percussionist) for accompaniment, Gil e Jorge focuses squarely on the individual talents of Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben as musicians, vocalists, performers, and improvisers. Of course, they prove up to the task. The nine lengthy tracks on the album (it was originally configured as a double LP) feature Gil and Ben interacting to a high degree, trading lines and often repeating them several times. The best tracks here -- "Nega," "Taj Mahal," and "Meu Glorioso Sao Cristovao" -- are highly rhythmic and have the heft of ancient Brazilian folksongs. Unfortunately, there isn't another record in Gil's discography even remotely close to it.

Jorge Ben - Gilberto Gil - Ogum Xango (flac  545mb)

01 Meu Glorioso São Cristóvão 8:14
02 Nega (Photograph Blues) 10:37
03 Jurubeba 11:41
04 Quem Mandou (Pé Na Estrada) 6:53
05 Taj Mahal 14:47
06 Morre O Burro Fica O Homem 6:11
07 Essa é Pra Tocar No Radio 6:14
08 Filhos De Gandhi 13:11
09 Sarro 1:10

Jorge Ben - Gilberto Gil - Ogum Xango (ogg  258mb)

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for A Tábua de Esmeralda and your interesting blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho

Is it at all possible to re-up the Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben album?

Many thanks