This was recorded in 1990, and is actually a re-working of the groundbreaking "Os Afro Sambas", recorded in 1966 with legendary Brazilian poet/songwriter/beatnik Vinícius de Moraes (with vocal help from the wonderful Quarteto em Cy, as on this new work). Unfortunately, Vinícius had passed away by the time Powell got around to re-recording their masterpiece. Powell's reason for re-working this was because the sound quality of the original sessions wasn't the best, as well as the fact that everyone was drunk and sloppy! The original recording is great--and this is an amazing re-working. I'm a huge Powell fan, and this is among his best--he hasn't lost his touch. Amazing guitar work, strong compositions, and top-notch production. The style is a blend of samba, African rhythms and a touch of classical guitar. (By the way, in case you're looking for the original "Os Afro Sambas", the CD by the same title on Amazon is actually a French pressing...
Os Afro-Sambas was originally recorded in 1966, while this one without Vinicius de Moraes, was done by Baden Powell, Quarteto em cy (as the original), and others nearly quarter century later. Os Afro-Sambas is certainly one of the most important works of contemporary Brazilian Music truly reflecting the transition period from the stylish Bossa Nova of the late 50's to the revolutionary Tropicalia of the late 60's. Eight of the eleven compositions are the same of the original one, while two are also compostions of Baden and Vinicius from the same period and the opening was made by Baden alone specially for this recording.
All tracks reflect religious syncretism, the mixture of West African religions of slavery origin and the European Catholicism, found mostly on Bahia State in form of Ubanda and Candoble religions. The most frequent music theme is love, specially love delusions and solitude. The understanding of singed Brazilian Portuguese would be a must to get into...
As the other reviewers have clearly pointed out, this is not the original recording from '66. This is a re-recording done in the 90s. It's not bad, per se, but it sure as hell ain't the original. Not even close. The original possesses a certain ragged charm, and a seductively dark and mystical vibe that this update noticeably lacks. The new version is also inappropriately slick and rote sounding, and lacks the vocal contributions of the late Vinicius de Moraes. So, by all means, if you're curious about "Os Afro Sambas," *please* don't buy this, and instead try your hardest to locate the Japanese import, which, at the time of writing, is the only means of obtaining the original on CD (update! - the Original Os Afro Sambas has been reissued by El Records, so grab that while it's available). That tracking down such a brilliant and monumental album remains so difficult is a seriously heinous crime against humanity. The Japanese version seems to go in and out of print, and it's going to...
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