Music Reviews

Mondo Samba

Various Artists

Mondo Melodia

Summer. 90+ degrees Fahrenheit. 90% humidity. And, yet, musically, you want something hot and cool simultaneously. The only thing that can really satisfy that peculiar thirst is a tall glass of Brazil. Samba, which is more flexible than a Cirque du Soleil contortionist, is exactly what the parched ear was longing for. Mondo Samba is a nice, breezy look at Brazil’s long-standing musical form that has been incorporated into jazz, funk, and rock, has morphed into MPB and the new electro hybrids we hear from Bebel Gilberto, Da Lata, and Zuco 103, and is one of the lounge scene’s strongest influences (as I said, flexible).

This is an enjoyable introduction to a very deep musical tradition. It barely scratches the surface but gets enough under its fingernails to draw your attention. Elis Regina sings my absolute favorite, “Aguas de Marco” (I think only Ozzy Osbourne’s singing could ruin that song for me). Maria Bethania’s “Rainha Negra” is also beautiful in a Chico Cesar way. There are also songs by Gilberto Gil, Guinga, Caetano Veloso, and Gal Costa. This is the perfect sultry milkshake for these unbearably hot nights.

Mondo Melodia:

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