Jair Oliveria, son of the great samba singer Jair Rodrigues, takes a stripped-down, intimate approach on his latest record, duly living up its title (translation: simple). He made his mark with a slick brand of funked-up samba along with folks like Max de Castro and Fernanda Porto, but here the programmed beats and keyboard ambience is gone — it's just funky acoustic guitar licks, sweet cavaquinho, high-precision bass lines and propulsive drumming. The funk is still there, but now it subtly drives and accents the tunes rather than clobbering them. He's a terrific singer and his songwriting is even better — just about everything here sounds like a future classic. Most contemporary samba overloads with choruses with treacly group vocals — Oliveira wisely lets listeners hear the songs without all of the hoopla, and ends up with his best record.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...
By Claire Lobenfeld on 11.29.14 in News
Spice, Jamaica's queen of dancehall, is gearing up to release her debut EP So Mi Like It. With her contribution to Vybz Kartel's "Rampin Shop," another bananas collab between the two called "Conjugal Visit" and her most...
By John Schaefer on 11.24.14 in Reviews
In this 50th-anniversary romp through Terry Riley's In C, a brilliant ensemble of Malian musicians (mostly playing traditional instruments) joins forces with Damon Albarn, the globetrotting frontman of Blur and Gorillaz;...