The golden age of Black Rio Movement started in 1971 and the biggest band of them all was Banda União Black.
What is really odd though is the 13 strong super group split up before they even could promote their debut album. Such is the stuff of which legends are made and latest edition of Waxpoetics has an interview with 2 of the original members who have decided to relaunch their career with a brand new album — a mere 25 years on from the original album.
In fact, there are only four of the original members of the band left but that’s not stopped them as there’s a full bank of horns to get that authentic sound of ‘Black Rio’. And before we go on, in addition to the production team, we need to thank DJ Cliffy who compiled Strut Records’ Black Rio compilation in 2002, which was the first time most people even knew about this music being produced in Brazil.
So what are we talking about? It’s been described as “Sergio Mendes meets Parliament” which is pretty much spot on but put it another way “Azymuth plays James Brown/Ohio Players”.
Ivan Tiririca (drums) said in that Waxpoetics interview they started by practicing to sound like Kool and the Gang, Mandrill and Wilson Pickett. Do they sound like that today? Yeah and more. ‘Africa Hot Band’ is just the F in Funk! Just a little less hot are ‘Been So Long’ (car wash hand claps) and ‘Escorpião’ with true 70s synth work
‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’ is a mid tempo plodder with very 70s sounding keys which is as cool as the mentions of “Jorge Ben” in the lyrics. ‘Melô Do Lula’ is the jam session, which in a different time would be ten times longer than this psychedelic soul track.
It’s a shame that the album seems to cool down after the African heat as ‘Tudo Azul’, it’s a laid back bass led samba-funk that gets busy on the cuica far too late and ‘Astral’ is bland.
It’s a good job for the Kool and the Cuica on ‘Na Palma Da Mao’ (but once more tooooo short). Personally, I could have done without the bonus tracks and had longer original versions. That’s the Hectic gripe out of the way and no surprise that when B+ and Eric Coleman took the Keepintime project to Brazil, not only did they take Madlib and Cut Chemist, they tracked down Mamo (Azymuth), they also went looking for the Banda União Black musicians for the Brasilintime movie.
Reviewed: Banda União Black – Banda União Black (Vampi Soul) Cat. No. VAMPI CD 070 Release date: Spring, 2006
1. Everyone’s A Winner (4:37)
2. Yeah Yeah Yeah (3:06)
3. Africa Hot Band (3:49)
4. Tudo Azul (4:38)
5. Melô Do Lula (2:57)
6. Been So Long (3:40)
7. Escorpião (3:55)
8. Astral (4:23)
9. Na Palma Da Mao (2:58)
10. Cris Vacilou (3:38)
11. Been So Long (Remix) (5:52)
12. Been So Long (Remix2) (5:58)
13. Yeah Yeah Yeah (Remix) (3:34)
www.waxpoetics.com Issue 16 – dedicated to the memory of James ‘Jay Dilla’ Yancey, Lou Rawls, Wilson Pickett, Ray Baretto and Bob Weinstock.
Ink 19 :: DJ Cliffy
DJ Cliff Presents: Black Rio : the man behind the successful ‘Future World Funk‘ album series and club nights and the Brazilian club ‘Batmacumba’