Samba Soul 70!
For danceable Brazilian music on the real tip, check Samba Soul 70! (Six Degrees Records 657036 10472 2; 57:25), which compiles a hip-grinding collection of Brazilian pop tunes heavily influenced by the then-burgeoning Black Power movement of the late '60s and early '70s. Frequently regarded as the most African country outside of Africa, Brazil has its own share of insidious race and social strife that offsets the usually blissful images of those gorgeous boys and girls from Ipanema inspire, so naturally James Brown's urgent soul power churns mightily on grooves like De Savoya Combo's "Jogaram O Caxang " and Trio Mocoto's "Que Nega e Essa." But the musicians on Samba Soul 70! don't just try to mimic the godfather. By snatching up other influences from MFSB, Cymande and Warner Bros.-era Earth, Wind & Fire, the artists on this compilation show that they knew '70s black music well enough to know that James Brown wasn't its alpha and omega; and by incorporating their own harmonic schemes, samba rhythms and ingenious instruments, they were smart enough to come up with something completely their own.