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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Carlos Darci and Brazooca Band

By Tom Orr
Published December 19, 2006

Live At S.O.B.’s
S.O.B.’s Music

Los Angeles may have Katia Moraes and Sambaguru, but New York City has Carlos Darci and Brazooca Band, its own tight and grooving outfit filling the air with Brazilian music. Darci is a Rio-born vocalist, musician, producer and arranger who leads his seasoned crew through songs penned by the likes of Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque and Jorge Ben Jor, never failing to bring out the funky bounce essential to samba, axe and any other style they tackle. This is a remarkably crisp live recording (note, for example, the shrewd subtlety of the cuica interplay on “Besta E Tu”) that suffers from some disappointingly choppy editing between tracks but delivers in abundance when the music’s up and running. The songs are lengthy, allowing the singers and players to stretch out at key moments, like the swirl of militaristic drumming, fuzz guitar and response vocals that cap “Jack Sou Brasileiro,” or the hip-swinging romp of “A Rita,” which comes off like a cross between bossa nova, boogaloo and Santana gone Bahian.