Latin Fusions of Fusions of Fusions…
Are you sometimes lost for words with Latin Music? Originally there was a comprehensible amount of Afro Cuban fusion music forms such as Rumba, Danzón and Son, but then these fusions went on to fuse with Afro American fusions music (Jazz, Soul, Funk) creating fusions of fusions such as Latin Soul and Boogaloo. Still following?
From this chaos emerged the term ‘Salsa’. Meaning ‘sauce’, the term first broke in NYC where it became associated with the next generation of Cuban fusion music made by Latino baby boomers of Puerto Rican origin (Nuyoricans). A chain of events then followed, The TV series ‘Salsa’ (1975), the Latin New York’s ‘Salsa Awards’ (1975), and then the Fania All-Star’s film ‘Salsa’ (1976) and soon this simple term became a metaphor for all new dance-friendly Cuban fusions everywhere. By the 1980s US, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Columbia had firmly established themselves as the four super powers of Salsa, now a worldwide scene.
This brings us to the subject of this review: Brazilian Beats Box Set (Mr Bongo 2008), a curious series released as individual albums over the last 8 years and now available as a low priced Box Set to celebrate the 15th birthday of the Mr Bongo label. But what exactly is a Brazilian Beat and who collects them?????
Brazilian Beats is Mr Bongo’s invented umbrella term (like Salsa) to cover all modern fusions of originating from Brazil. Originally a quip from Latin House pioneer Kenny Dope to name one of his own cross-category experiments, the term then stuck and for a whole series. Brazilian Beats are quite simply anything that can be considered the next level of Afro Brazilian Fusion Music (Samba fused with Rock, House, hip hop, acid Jazz etc) made by anyone from anywhere, as it appears once again a simple term is needed for modern music.
Making an ideal starting point for anyone wanting to enter into the world of Modern Brazilian music – and remember Brazil is vast with over 200m people – it really does require an epic 8CD box set to even begin to address this subject. It should also be noted that not all Brazilian fusion music comes from Brazil as both the UK and US have strong Brazilian music scenes.
Anyway, make up your own mind on what you think about the present state of Brazilian modern music worldwide by going to this site Brazilian Beats Box Set Fansite made to accompany the release. You won’t like it all, but you should be able to find something.
Whether the term Brazilian Beats will stick, I very much doubt, but an interesting experiment never the less.
Enjoy this 3 tracks:
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