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April 13, 2008 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Introduce me to some seriously awesome Brazilian music and/or Cuban and Argentinian music!

I want to discover the really good stuff in Samba, new Samba and Brzilian Jazz, as well as Argentinian tango (modern and old). I wouldn't be adversed to some recommendations on Cuban music too, since all I know right now is the stuff from Buena Vista Social club.

I am looking for soulful, sultry, passionate songs/artists, but not the kind of stuff you hear on European new-jazz electronic dance compilations played when in yoga classes to relax, if you get my drift...
posted by Sijeka to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Loronix music blog for vintage Brazilian music.
posted by extrabox at 10:38 AM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh my. Such a treasure trove out there for you. Basic primer on Brazilian musicians I like:

Antonio Carlos Jobim
Astrud Gilberto
Gilberto Gil (He's also the current Minister of Culture!)
Gal Costa
Caetanto Veloso
João Gilberto
Jorge Bem
Maria Bethânia

All links are to wikipedia, but you can explore from there. I like 'em all!
posted by Stewriffic at 10:46 AM on April 13, 2008

I would give Jorge Ben a listen. See, for example, this.
posted by 15 step at 10:46 AM on April 13, 2008

Don't know if it's what you're looking for, but on the Argentine side of things you might want to check out two albums by Andrés Calamaro: "Tinta Roja" and "El Cantante". Calamaro is an Argentine pop/rock star, but he did a few albums with traditional/tango songs.
posted by veggieboy at 10:53 AM on April 13, 2008

I have to admit that this song from an extremely obscure 1982 movie by the same name, Menino do Rio, by João Gilberto might be my favorite song evah.
posted by Stewriffic at 10:58 AM on April 13, 2008

Jorge Ben is *amazing*. Check out his album, Africa Brazil. The friend that introduced me to him also digs Os Mutantes, so you might check them out as well.
posted by hue at 10:58 AM on April 13, 2008

More on Jorge Bem

Ponta de Lança Africana Futbol inspired.

Cool duet version of Fio Maravilha with Gilberto Gil Another soccer song.

Well-ish known Jorge Bem song Mas que Nada that was recently bizarrely covered hip-hop style by Sergio Mendes with the Black Eyed Peas.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:15 AM on April 13, 2008

OK, I'll stop now, but thanks for reminding me how much I like Brazilian music. :-)
posted by Stewriffic at 11:16 AM on April 13, 2008

Brazil: Virginia Rodrigues

Argentina, but chamamé instead of tango: Chango Spasiuk
posted by PatoPata at 12:01 PM on April 13, 2008

I'm not an expert by any means, but this collection of various major Brazilian artists assembled by David Byrne is wonderful. It would be a great place to start.
posted by neuron at 12:40 PM on April 13, 2008

Another recommendation for Jorge Ben. His music is excellent, but pretty diverse. Try the following albums for music that sound similar to your request: Forca Bruta, Ben, Tabua de Esmeralda, Solta e Pavao.

I also recommend Chico Buarque and Cartola.
posted by ciocarlia at 12:51 PM on April 13, 2008

Here are some relevant previous links, more bossa nova greats, a samba soul classic, forró, Siba and others from the Recife scene.
posted by umbú at 12:54 PM on April 13, 2008

The compilation Tropicalia is considered an essential take on 60s Brazilian music. Contains a few artists mentioned above.

Also seconding Virginia Rodrigues - Nos is one of my all time favourite albums.
posted by meech at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2008

Astor Piazzolla.
posted by cog_nate at 1:26 PM on April 13, 2008

Slipcue is the long-running hobby site of Brazilian music enthusiast Joe Sixpack. If there's an album available in the US he's probably covered it. (you're in the UK or course, but the import availability is probably similar.) He does a good job of explaining the various styles, and he's got a handy short list of recommendations. He also covers a lot of other Latin music, including a lot from Cuba.

All Brazilian Music is another useful site.

It's often hard to categorize Brazilian music in to strict categories. Look for Música Popular Brasileira (MPB), which is a catch-all category of contemporary styles with the focus on singer-songwriters or the singer as an interpretive artist. It's borrows mainly from samba and bossa nova, although nearly every type of national or international style gets represented. A typical MPB album might have a samba song that became a hit, a cover of a familiar Tom Jobim bossa nova tune, an accordian-driven forró, a romantic ballad, etc.

Another David Byrne compilation: Brazil Classics, Vol. 2: O Samba
posted by hydrophonic at 1:52 PM on April 13, 2008

Wow, a lot to check out!
My favorite is Brazilian Butterfly by Ithamara Koorax.
posted by willem at 2:13 PM on April 13, 2008

Os Mutantes is some seriously awesome stuff.
posted by dhammond at 5:13 PM on April 13, 2008

Some more amazing Brazilians:

Baden Powell

Dom Um Romão
Marisa Monte
Hermeto Pascoal
The Milton Banana Trio
and, trendiness by damned, Carmen Miranda.
posted by rongorongo at 5:36 PM on April 13, 2008

I went to see an excellent Cuban movie last night of one of Cuba's most renowned artists, Benny Moré. He lived at the peak of pre-revolution Cuba and was well loved even after the revolution. You can see him pretty well represented on Youtube.
posted by JJ86 at 6:13 PM on April 13, 2008

Byrne's up to 4 volumes, I believe, of Brazilian music surveys, and they're all great. Really, really good place to start.

Caetano Veloso's "Livro" is an excellent example of the quirky pop that comes out of Brazil, but my favorite album over the past few years--bar none--is Seu Jorge's "Cru". Outstanding.

(And for a very tasty, mellow album, you might also want to check out Sara Valenzuela's Lado Este. Not Brazilian, I don't think, but still very enjoyable.)
posted by LairBob at 7:22 PM on April 13, 2008

I realise it's not "Samba, new Samba and Brazilian Jazz" but Tropicalia and Brazil 70 are great introductory compilations from the wonderful Soul Jazz records.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:55 PM on April 13, 2008

Red Hot + Rio
Tribalistas by Arnoldo Antunes, Carlinhos Brown, and Marisa Monte
posted by lukemeister at 8:57 PM on April 13, 2008

Lots of great suggestions here. My recommendation is to find some live samba pagode in your neck of the woods.
posted by billtron at 10:00 PM on April 13, 2008

Teresa Cristina e Grupo Semente.
posted by misteraitch at 12:46 AM on April 14, 2008

I really like the Putumayo collections of Brazilian music, especially Festa Brasil. The cd includes many of the artists listed above but my favorite song is "Le Mama" by Ale Muniz. He is pretty obscure and I'm always looking for anything else he's done.
posted by Sculthorpe at 11:00 AM on April 14, 2008

For modern "tango" Gotan Project's second album, Lunático, is very good. In more or less the same vein, Band O Neon (a play on words, the bandoneon is the accordion like instrument used in tango music) is also quite good.
posted by subajestad at 11:18 AM on April 14, 2008

You will not find finer Cuban music than Los Estrellas.
posted by Camofrog at 2:02 PM on April 14, 2008

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