Jordan Pedersen thanks Black Orpheus for introducing bossa nova to America, but thinks it’s a garbage movie.
The folks behind Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds, the new compilation from Favorite Recordings, must have been unbearably bored growing up. “Can’t you fogies speed it up?” they must’ve thought as bossa nova rose to prominence in the 60s and 70s, and they watched João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim politely finger pick “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Desafinado.”
The nine cuts that drummer and Rio native Jùnior Santos selected for Boogie Sounds represent the hottest stuff that the samba-rock scene in the late 70s and early 80s had to offer.
The comp scans as a ribald riposte to the mannered rhythms of bossa. Cristina Camagro’s “Moral Tem Hora” blasts out of the gate with two snare snaps and a horn blast, two knocks on the front door of your mind. By the time the spiraling synths take over at the two-minute mark, the groove is deep in your bones.
“Escorpião,” by Brazilian music hero Carlos Dafé, with its wailing guitar and mournful falsetto wail, tosses some Blaxpolitation soul into the mix.
For me, though, the high point is Rabo De Saia’s triumphant “Ripa Na Xulipa,” a more or less straight disco floor-scorcher. Nile Rodgers guitar, swooning strings, the kind of infectious, popping bassline that makes it impossible to stay still.
Claudia Telles’ “Un Momento Qualquer” is the only place the compilation takes a breath. Telles croons coolly, and it’s the snakelike bass line that carries most of the melodic weight. Paulo Ramos’ “Gosto Amargo De Vida” ends the compilation on a high note, with an impossibly tight horn section and a frenetic drumline.
It’s a fantastically visual album. You can’t help but imagine what these parties must have been like. Fifteen crack players jammed onto a tiny stage, the crowd sweaty and entranced, the liquor flowing.
Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds is undeniable proof that Steve Dahl is a jackass, and disco should never have been demolished.