Soulstance

Soulstance

Truth, Simplicity, and Love

Shakti

This is a smooth-percolatin’ dance CD combining tracks from two albums by Italian brothers Gianni and Enzo Lo Greco. They love Brazilian beats and sounds, so many of the tracks on this album use samba rhythms and/or instrumentation (whistles! bossa nova guitar strums!) to underpin the very poppy and cute ’60s film score melodies. “Circle” is a great case in point: it starts out straight outa Sao Paulo, then adds great little girl-group nonsense syllables to make the whole thing sound like a commercial for one of those little tiny foreign cars Audrey Hepburn drove in How to Steal a Million. Another track, “En Route,” has a jazzy 6/8 feel that recalls Cuban rhythms as well as Latin-influenced boppers like Charles Mingus and (gasp) Dave Brubeck. There’s a lot of flute here. A lot. It’s very pleasant.

Here’s my problem with this record: the damned thing sounds like a rip-off of Suba’s Sao Paulo Confessions from last year. Suba, also a European dance artist who fell in love with Brazilian music, actually lived in Sao Paulo before dying tragically in a fire after the album came out. He understood saudade, the Brazilian melancholy that the Lo Greco brothers don’t even attempt to touch. But Suba’s gone now, and we’ll have to make do with this lighter, fluffier CD from Soulstance.

At least until something real comes along. Or the new Zuco 103. Or something else.

http://www.shaktirecords.com

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