Friends From Rio Project 2014

Ah Brazil, home to 2 of my 3 great loves – football and music that’s so infectious that even the most stubborn people can’t refuse to dance to (the 3rd is Batman, just in case you were curious, and I’d LOVE to see a Brazilian Batman if possible). There’s just something about Brazilian music, it has a life of its own and effortlessly encourages legions of people to shake various body parts in delight.
The press release firmly planted on my desk as I fill my ears with these 13 rhythmic beauties describe how Far Out’s founder Joe Davis set off to Rio in search of Brazil’s ‘mysterious sounds’. As much as I applaud the magnificent work he has done, I have to disagree entirely with the use of the word mysterious as I don’t believe there is another country that can come close to rivalling Brazil for putting music so firmly at the epicentre of their cultural identity.
Anyway, it gets increasingly difficult to find fault with an album made in such good spirits as this – I can feel my natural grumpiness being worn away and my shoulders settling back into a relaxed pose that they’ve failed to settle into without some form of alcoholic beverage coercing them in quite some time. Any album that features such a delightful cover of the Jorge Ben classic ‘Mas Que Nada’ has my attention and admiration without having to try too hard to convince me. This is one of the smoothest albums I’ve listened to in a rather long time and the brass/piano combo is always welcome to grace my ears – I’d even be able to tolerate it blasting away in the middle of the night.
You just can’t keep music as soulful as this down, it’s so infectious that I can feel my red blood cells turning into tiny little trombones and maracas – probably not healthy in the long run but having this music running through my veins would be just so delightful.