Beleza! Beleza! Beleza!
Hailed as the pioneers of Samba Rock, Trio Mocoto is at it
again! I have their previous release (Samba Rock) and this one is an even better
album. Their vibrant, upbeat and infectious jams make you feel as if you're at
Carnival in Brazil. Three tracks especially stand out for me: (3)
Coquerio Verde is a catchy tune that stays with you much like Os Orixas
from their previous album, (7) Lirio Para Xango and (10) Onde Anda O Meu Amor
are both sultry and passionate tunes that can really get the blood flowing. This
is the perfect kind of music for a summer barbacue and lots of family and
friends around for dancing or just chillin'! Great album!
Waiting 26 years between releases has to be some kind of record. But so is Samba Rock. Having first gained notoriety as Jorge Ben's backing band in 1969, Brazilian "samba soul" pioneers Trio Mocotó released three influential albums in the 1970s before packing it up. Renewed interest in vintage Latin recordings spurred the Trio to reunite for their latest release, and it's far from an exercise in nostalgia. The group holds on to its core style of innovative vocal arrangements and flirtations with soul, funk, and jazz while also presenting a cartoonish ambiance that leaves lesser mortals frowning in the dust. But the 21st-century Trio also seamlessly blends modern sensibilities with its venerable minimoog, updating "Voltei Amor" with subtle electronica and energizing Jorge Ben's "Adelita" with a vigorous tropical rock attack that complements the all-out party atmosphere. Even Antonio Carlos Jobim's classic "Aguas de Marco" ("The Waters of March") gets an unexpectedly loosey-goosey reading via an instrumental whose lead voice is provided by the percussive whine of the cuica (best known for the background whoops in Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"). Backed by supple horn players, keyboardists, drummers, and more, the Trio miraculously fuses various styles from different eras without ever straining the essential samba sensibility. While the out-there approach may not suit every listener, it will definitely delight anyone with a healthy sense of fun. --Bob Tarte