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Take It Easy

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moreno.jpg jocafi.jpg
zeep.jpg quarteto.jpg

Moreno +2 : “Deusa Do Amor”
taken from the album “Music Typewriter” on Hannibal (2001)

Antonio Carlos & Jocafi : “Desacato”
taken from the album “Mudei De Ideia” on RCA (1971)

Zeep : “Agua”
taken from the 7″ single on Far Out (2007)

The Girls From Bahia aka Quarteto Em Cy : “Laia Ladaia”
taken from the album “Revolucion con Brasilia!” on Warner Brothers (1968)

I find that one of the most dificult things to do is absolutely nothing. Watching a movie is easy, but that’s something. Reading, although I’ve been pretty bad with that lately, is usually not too dificult. Still, pages are being turned and the mind is at work. When the last page has been flipped, there is a feeling of closure and accomplishment that can’t come from doing nothing. This weekend, a nice hot long one here in NY (thanks to Memorial Day and an early summer breeze), gave me the perfect opportunity to test my nothing skills. In a rare turn of events, I found myself posted up on the sidewalk actually selling records instead of buying them. The cleaning out of my crates was long overdue and it provided an excuse for doing that extremely dificult task of minimizing exertion.

Ok, so technically you could say I was doing something- selling, hanging with friends, bartering. But if you saw me out there, chillin’ in my lawn chair with the boombox playing low, basically giving away records cause it’s about time I freed up some space in my place, you’d probably have to agree I was damn near close to that coveted nothingness. It worked like the opposite of momentum, because yesterday’s pass-out-on-a-blanket-in-the-park was the undoubted lack of all activity. It was truly a non-accomplishment. Suave Brazilian melodies like these help me ease back to that place of peace and contentment. I hope they work for you as well.

Moreno Veloso (son of a certain Caetano whom you may be familiar with) is a true artist of sound. Instruments used in the making of “Deusa Do Amor”- or “Goddess Of Love”- include an iron shovel and sandpaper. The outcome is a stunningly beautiful sunbeam of soul. Check out the whole album, or the second installment of the still unfinished trilogy.

Antonio Carlos & Jocafi (who I’ve posted here before) provide this perennial favorite, from an album that I can’t recommend enough. Funk, psych, soul, strings, samba… all mixed up and executed perfectly more than 35 years ago.

Zeep is a brand new offering from Nina Miranda and Chris Franck (who you should know from their work in Smoke City and Da Lata, not to mention very cool collabos with cats like Troubleman). It’s Brazilian music for dancing and dreaming, produced with all the attention to detail that makes a song last forever. I can’t tell you when to expect their full album, but check out the Far Out Recordings website if you’re looking for more like this.

And this last little piece of Brazilian bounce comes from a record I picked up for $2 at a stoop sale yesterday (on my way to the park, to do nothing). The Girls From Bahia was the name change given to Quarteto Em Cy when they moved to the US in ’67 and tried to break into the mainstream a la Sergio Mendes. Apparently the move wasn’t as succesful as they had hoped, since they ended up recording just this and one other LP for WB – and why the Spanish title??? – but I’m still rooting for them.