BRAZILIAN MUSIC IN USA--1967--50 YEARS AGO

Discussion in 'Look Around: Sergio Mendes/Brazilian Music Forum' started by lj, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Now we are onto the 50th anniversary of the year 1968 (no longer 1967).

    I realized (this week, thinking about it) that the watershed/pivotal Rolling Stones song, that marked that band's emergence out of the Psychedelic era -- "Sympathy for the Devil" -- has a Brasilian/Samba-influenced rhythm.

    I really liked hearing an earlier take (filmed in the studio by Jean-Luc Godard) with a more sparse arrangement. In that, I believe, Keith Richards plays bass guitar - and it sounds great.

    1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, (3) : ||

    I see in the Wikipedia article, there is definite mention of the rhythm:

    Sympathy for the Devil - Wikipedia

    Charlie Watts is quoted:
    a jazz Latin feel in the style of Kenny Clarke would have played on "A Night in Tunisia" – not the actual rhythm he played, but the same styling.

    And the Jagger quote that follows is really important, too.
     
  2. I also just realized that
    "Spooky" by Classics IV (also from the same year) has a hint of a Samba rhythm in its drum beat.
    In fact, I never hear any straight-ahead Rock/R&B back-beat at all on "Spooky".

    Even on that band's next follow-up hit, "Stormy" -- I hear some hint of a syncopated Latin (hemiola) rhythm on the verses -- though the refrain/chorus has a definite backbeat.

    The _Classics IV_ band were good white southern boys (except the sax player, who was black) doing Soul -style music, but maybe with a bit of a hint of a Latin/Brasilian-esque rhythm, at times.
    That serves as an example of a broader point about late 1960s music that relates to what I've been discussing in this post -- There is such a cross-pollination and inter-mixing of styles -- all related to Jazz. Brasilians were listening to what was coming out of the U.S. and incorporated Jazz, Soul, and later (in the 1970s) Funk, and Jamaican influences into their Brasilian sound. Jazz players are pretty much expected to be versed in the vocabulary of Funk, Latin rhythms, and even maybe Jamaican beats too. Those can be mixed in various ways. "Tropicália" is an example of this. M.P.B. started to absorb (what was then, contemporary new sounds/styles/feels, such as) American Funk and the "Regee" that was comin' out of the Carribean.

    The Wikipedia article on "Spooky" mentions that the famous _Classics IV_ recording is actually a cover of what was originally an instrumental (Soul-Jazz) recording by Mike Sharpe (Shapiro).
    Also, in 1979 the Atlanta Rhythm Section did a version and that has no Latin/syncopated Brasilian-like rhythms.
     
  3. I thought of two more examples -- by Donovan (Donovan Philips Leitch):

    "Sunshine Superman" -- It just occurred to me, today, that has a Samba (or, Samba-esque, at least) rhythm to it!
    I see that it hit the U.S. (American, on this side of the Atlantic) charts in "September 1966" (according to Wikipedia). Well, anyway, that was a popular song in 1967 and is definitely a fit for 1967 Flower Power.


    Sunshine Superman - Wikipedia
    I mean, try to play a simple Rock back-beat along with that. The backbeat is too laden and stiff and lacks the panache of a syncopated Samba beat. Just off-set the placement of the snare hits by an 8th note, or so.

     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  4. And ...

    On that same album --
    Sunshine Superman (album) - Wikipedia


    -- is the song "Season of the Witch"

    Again, a simple back-beat on the snare would be too "stiff" -feeling for that song, wouldn't you say?

    So, Brasilian Samba(-esque) elements and influence appeared in a lot of places that I didn't realise, until now. Most people would label those two songs as being "Rock" music.


    "Season of the Witch" was covered by Julie Driscol with Brian Auger (Trinity) in 1967.
     
  5. lj

    lj Active Member Thread Starter

    I got to thinking, after four straight gold records, why did the record sales of Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 fall so dramatically by 1969? I have three reasons:

    (1) The era of Easy Listening/Middle of the Road music represented by composers such as Bacharach, Jobim, Mancini, Sol Lake etc. and interpreted by groups such as Brasil 66, the TJB, and singers such as Sinatra, Bennett, Peggy Lee and Steve and Eydie was coming to a close by 1969-70, due to the dominance of Rock music. How sad that was!

    (2) By 1969-70 the singer/songwriter (King, Simon, Taylor, Stevens, Mitchell) became hugely popular. As good as their interpretations were, no one was interested in hearing another cover version of a previous hit by Brasil 66/77.

    (3) The popularity of Brazilian music had run its course in the USA. In the past, most of the time Latin music has remained a local thing with with Salsa on the East Coast, Tex/Mex in Texas and Norteno and Banda in California. Only on rare occasions has Latin music crossed over nation-wide. I can think of only three examples.

    In the 1950s Mambo and Cha Cha Cha was huge with gold records for Perez Prado's "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and Warren Covington's "Tea for Two Cha Cha Cha."

    Between 1970 and 1972, there were nation-wide hits by El Chicano "Viva Tirado", Santana "Oye Como Va" and Malo "Suavacito."

    Brazilian/Bossa Nova had the longest musical run lasting through most of the 1960s, but a run it was! It started with a Charlie Byrd tour of Brazil in 1961 sponsored by the JFK State Department. He brought back Bossa Nova to the USA, and with Stan Getz he recorded the "Jazz/Samba" album which went to the top of the 1962 Billboard album charts. Also in 1962 there was Bossa Nova at the White House with the Paul Winter group also back from a State Department tour. Then to close out 1962 there was Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall with the likes of Jobim, Gilberto, Bonfa, Lyra, Mendes. CBS TV featured Bossa Nova as the New Beat on its Eyewitness prime time series. The Bossa Nova excitement was palpable. Philadelphia radio personality Dick Carr told a story of a late night phone call from Tony Bennett in Brazil to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme imploring them to get with the new Brazilian music and record something right away. The result was Eydie's classic "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" album in 1963 which included four Brazilian compositions. Ruby and the Romantics had a #1 hit with a Bossa Nova rhythm--"Our Day Will Come." Quincy Jones had his "Soul Bossa Nova" recording. Numerous jazz artists such as Cannonball Adderley recorded albums with the Bossa Nova style. Most importantly, there was the 1963 recording of the "Getz/Gilberto" album which included the "Girl From Ipanema" track which later won a Grammy for Record of the Year. By 1966, Walter Wanderley released "Summer Samba" and Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 released "Mas Que Nada" and Bossa Nova for awhile was truly the soundtrack of America. For me these musical memories are eternal.
     
  6. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    lj: I'm with you on all the factual points. Not sure I share the opinion that the switch from standards to rock was necessarily sad. All things run their course. Standards and Bossa Nova had (as you point out) lengthy and quite successful runs...as did rock.
     
  7. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    Some other commentary here. With Brazilian music, there is also a lot of subtle micro-dynamics going on. A lot of gentle sophistication and swing in there. Also, on modern music, Rap and Beats took over when the USA public education system sharply cut or outright eliminated music education and arts education in the name of test scores at all costs. This meant fewer new musicians exposed to a variety of musical influences, and listening and music appreciation skills have never been the same for succeeding generations ever since. Used to be in older days, rock music had some interesting and often sophisticated influences going on.
     
  8. Cannon

    Cannon New Member

    I think the group Manassas featuring Stephen Stills had strong Brazilian influence as do more recent groups Matt Bianco and Basia.
     

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