Exploring Brazil: Brasil Bam Bam Bam

Sonzeira - Brasil Bam Bam Bam (Talkin' Loud) It turns out we’re not the only ones to enjoy a journey through Brazilian music, as this album is the result of label boss, radio presenter, DJ and all round music man Gilles Peterson’s own adventures. True to the sound and heritage of Brazilian music, it features heroes both old and new like Seu Jorge, Marcos Valle and Elza Soares who, together with Peterson, have taken on the name Sonzeira. As ever with Gilles Peterson the vibes are laid back but upbeat and packed with fun. Meanwhile, Brazil’s musical traditions are treated with utmost respect yet each track is performance with a contemporary style that’s squeaky clean and cool.

The one track that diverges from the upbeat mood is Elza Soares’ impassioned and affecting rendition of the classic ‘Aquarela Do Brasil’. Here Peterson and Co. strip out the hip shaking melody and leave the power of the words to show the political scars of a song that tries to define a nation. It’s an absolutely wonderful track, but we daren’t call it a highlight.

All in all, we’re pretty keen on this album, and sat down to write some words on it while basking in the unseasonably hot weather we’ve been enjoying recently. We’re now fairly sure that short of the next flight to Rio there’s no closer emulation of the feel of Brazil to be had when you’re based in the UK. For a sense of the wonderful music Brazil has to offer, yet with a sheen that ensures mass appeal and a contemporary feel, this is one worth checking out.

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