Currently on his UK tour promoting, just enough time to check out his pre-Cru album
In fact, if you wanted to sum up early Jorge, look no further than the title track ‘Corolina’ and the smooth funk of ‘De Alegia Pajou O Dia’ with their warm samba influences.
‘Chenga No Suingue’ has some Shalamar “going back to my roots” vocal phrase going on which detracts for me and ‘Mangueira’ throws all sorts of 70s funk (big horns, rock guitar lines, vocoder). For someone who made Bowie covers sound great by just singing on his own with an acoustic guitar, I wonder if he needed all this production.
‘Samba Que Nem Rita Dora’, ‘Pequines E Pitbull’ gets us back to a more ‘traditional’ Jorge samba style of folky back yard BBQ party and get ready for the ‘cool’ of ‘O Samaba Tai’, you can’t help but join in the chorus and the Oh Ohs at end. It’s this laid back stuff that works best for me, the chilled jazz-funk ‘Mada’ is another one that you’ll melt to. I hope this is what the live show is going to be like.
Having said the ‘Tu Queria’ gets the balance about right between the old skool samba and ‘samba rock/funk’ (represented on this album by ‘Funk Baby’) which he pioneered back in the 1990s with his first band, Farofa Carioca.
With Jorges’ good looks and appealing modesty, Radio 1′s Brazilian music expert, Gilles Peterson has hailed him “the next Bob Marley”. It’s easy to see why on the basis of his life story and the films (the South Bank Show was particularly good earlier this year) but Seu, the reggae inspired ‘Hagua’ was a mistake. Even then, it’s not a really bad duff track and he recovers nicely with the smooth-reggae on ‘Em Nagoya Eu Vi Eriko’.
Taken as a whole, we’re looking at a must-have album to bring some sun, sand and samba happiness into hearts.
Cru was released in the UK on Ether Records but
Corolina was originally released in 2001 as Samba Esporte Fino. The re-issue was released on Mr Bongo, best known as the home of Bukky Leo, Lekan Babalola and Lenine that also got Brazilian hot plates to the UK via their compilations albums (and the sadly departed shop). Good to see them back at the forefront with this guaranteed hit.
Hectic Mix nominations: ‘Tu Queria’, ‘Carolina’, ‘Samba Que Nem Rita A Dora’, ‘O Samba Tai’ [at least]
Reviewed: Seu Jorge — Carolina (Mr Bongo) Cat. No. MRB CD22
2. Chega No Sungue
4. Pequines E Pitbull
5. Tu Queria
6. O Samba Tai
8. Samba Que Nem Rita A Dora
10. Funk Baby
11. Em Nagoya Eu Vi Eriko
12. De Algeria Rajou O Dia
Press: “If you had to nominate someone as the coolest man on the planet, Seu Jorge would be a good candidate”. Peter Culshaw. The Telegraph.
Metro July 2006: Seu Jorge ‘On My IPOD’: Silver Convention – Fly Robin Fly / Joao Nogueira & Paolo Casar Pinheiro – Espelho / Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke / Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough [feat. Paulinho Da Costa] / Gonzaguinha – E / Gilberto Gil – Palco
‘Life on Mars’