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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

THE NEW BRAZILIAN MUSIC: PERNAMBUCO

By Marty Lipp
Published October 28, 2005

Trama 1059-2

As far as many people were concerned not too long ago, there was nothing doing musically in Pernambuco. Even many locals, particularly young people, disparaged or ignored the region’s traditional music and turned their ears toward Rio or abroad. Then some young musicians, led in part by the late Chico Science, began combining music from near and afar, particularly co-opting the energy of rock and rap. The resulting musical movement, for a while, threatened to realign the cultural landscape in Brazil. Though the scene took a huge blow with the death of Chico Science, his band, Nação Zumbi, and others have continued to make vibrant roots music, erasing the line between past and present. On this great sampler of the scene, bands like Cascabulho and Mestre Ambrósio electrify rural forró, while performers such as DJ Dolores and Otto slice and dice regional sounds with electronica. The collection even includes some old-timers, such as Selma Do Côco who shows she can still conjure up some powerful swing. The collection is big fun, but it also could open listeners up to an often-overlooked source of great Brazilian music.