Friday, July 21, 2006

Brazilian Lounge

Putumayo is a recording label that specializes in world music. All of their CDs guarantee "to make you feel good." So far I have found this to be true.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was showing my mom and two of my sisters some of the cool shops in our area, I bought Putumayo's Brazilian Lounge. We like various kinds of electronic music (or techno or whatever; I am easily confused by labels), especially lounge stuff by groups like Thievery Corporation), and I admit that I thought if I bought something Jon would like, he might not notice the money I was spending. (I also bought a floral mat made from recycled plastic, which I love very much and used as a sort of porch to our tent when we went camping recently.) Anyway, it was another successful music acquisition: groovy and mellow with cool Brazilian melodies and words. Shortly after I bought it, Jon said we needed to get more because he was in danger of making himself sick of it by listening to it too much. Now that's a good sign.

10 comments:

  1. MUSIC!!! I'm still trying to feel over the entirety of the Cocteu Twins songs Jon sent me. "Thievery Corporation" sounds like something for me on title alone :). Brazilian Lounge looks interesting enough to try out at the local MegaStore. New musical feelings are more of a thrill to me than most anything else. I wonder, do you enjoy Jon's megamixes encompassing the "thug life"? hahahahah.

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  2. I have long referred to Jon as a Musical Tyrant. But his recommendations are pretty great, usually. Yes, you should try Thievery Corporation. Jon could tell you where to start. I'm not familiar with the "thug life" music you speak of. I'll have to ask Jon. Maybe. :)

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  3. I believe Ezekiel is referring to DJ Shawn Phillips (see LatterDaySoul.com for mix downloads), but that's more "thug lite" than "thug life". :) A good introduction to Thievery Corporation is their mix album "The Outernational Sound".

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  4. Hi Erin. I've been reading your posts. It's fun and, hey, it gets me to read. (Your posts, that this)he he!

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  5. I meant to say : (Your posts, that is) Meaning -- I don't really read books much but it's fun to read your posts and that is , well, good for me? I guess. Okay, enough.

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  6. Hi, Amy! I'm glad you're reading my posts. I don't know if they'll enhance your life or anything, but I'm glad!

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  7. Hi, Erin. If you like electronic music and you're interested in the Putumayo take on "World Music", you might find their "Arabic Groove" album to be of interest. I bought it a few years ago, when I was fresh from studying Turkish music (which is *not* "Arabic" music but has many similarities to western-oriented ears); to be honest, I'm not crazy about it, but I'm not crazy about electronic music in general, and I would prefer to hear acoustic percussion in this musical tradition rather than semi-westernized electronic percussion. However, the singing and instrumentation is generally fairly true to the musical traditions of the region (such as I understand them), including the different techniques of singing and the use of microtones. As for Brazilian music: jazz great Joe Henderson's "Double Rainbow" -- a tribute to Jobim -- is really enjoyable, with one half of the album being Joe with an ensemble of Brazilian musicians, and the other half being Joe with American jazz musicians. All instrumental, classified as a "jazz" album, but it's what I would classify as "accessible" jazz.

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  8. Arabic Groove is the first "groove" album from Putumayo that Jon listened to so excessively that he got sick of it. I know what you mean about "semi-westernized electronic percussion," but sometimes it's a nice way to become familiar with various kinds of music. If you like that kind of thing, anyway. We haven't properly begun enjoying jazz yet. When I was a teenager and my dad started playing the drums (he played with a "big band" band for years and now plays in small orchestras for musicals and such occasionally), he used to listen to New Age jazz, and my siblings and I hated it. To tease us, he would make up songs to go along with the music , because that was even worse than just hearing it on the radio. Anyway, "accessible" jazz might be the way to go for me, though I've had some exposure (friends of mine played bass, piano and saxaphone in various jazz groups when I was in college). I do love to hear old jazz, too. Thanks for the suggestions. I know Putumayo has other albums with Arabic music, and some are acoustic. We'll have to try them someday.

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  9. I haven't listened to any other arabic-inspired music from Putumayo; everything else I have from them trends eastern european or south american. But a good starter is anything by Umm Kalthoum, though the recordings tend to be noisy and sometimes lack the percussion that can be so exciting. As for "accessible" jazz, I'm trying to think back to albums that really got me into it early on; I think "Double Rainbow" really would be a good choice, but there are a number of classic jazz-intro albums like Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" that would serve as well. Also, Duke Ellington's "New Orleans Suite" is really terrific, though it is one of his later works when he was arguably slowing down a bit (from 1971). And actually, I think Sonny Rollin's "Saxophone Colossus" is a work of genius that anybody can appreciate; the first track ("St. Thomas") is groovy enough to make Strom Thurmond jump up and shout "play it, my man!"

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  10. Thanks for the suggestions, Ethan, I'll be writing them down. When we start buying jazz, at least I'll know where to start. I think our kids will love jazz, and our oldest might even have some talent in that direction. He plays the piano pretty well for a 10-year-old and plays around with the music more than Jon and I ever did (which was pretty much never). All that improvisation stuff is really intimidating to me! In the mean time, I think I have to get the new Five Browns CD. They annoy me--they're so gimmicky, like Liberace or something--but our kids love them, and it's good to have them get excited about classical music and think classical pianists are really cool. Of course, that might just indicate that our homeschooled kids are totally UNcool. But don't tell them yet.

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