mon 01/06/2020

Brazil

CD: Lucas Santtana - Sobre Noites e Dias

The Afro-Atlantic world, in music as well as in religion, has always been characterized by a continuously self-renewing tendency to combine elements from cultures that originate on either side of the ocean. Lucas Santtana is a thoroughly...

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The Way He Looks

Falling in love for the first time is one of the standard tropes of the movies. Brazilian director Daniel Ribeiro gives it a new twist by making the teenage hero of his The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho) blind, and realising in the...

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Bebel Gilberto, Barbican

Bebel Gilberto seemed very tentative when she first appeared onstage; dressed in semi-Goth black, she kept saying how nervous she was. “Calm down, Bebel. It’s only the Barbican,” she muttered and we did get a sense of the terror and exhilaration of...

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Grupo Corpo, Sadler's Wells

Grupo Corpo means Body Group, and if that sounds like the name of a global exercise consortium, it’s because it should be. If I were an entrepreneur media mogul type, I would have shot out of my seat at Sadler’s Wells last night and straight round...

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CD: Sonzeira - Brasil Bam Bam Bam

Gilles Peterson has been a fan of Brazilian music since a furtive teenage liaison with pirate radio. Now, very much at the other end of the radio wave, and after many decades’ advocacy of Brazilian music, he’s created Sonzeira, a collaborative band...

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David Beckham into the Unknown, BBC One

As an appetiser to the tournament about to swamp your television, the BBC paired up one global football brand with another: Becks, meet Brazil; Brazil, meet Becks. Appropriately the encounter lasted 90 minutes, and featured long stretches in which...

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Caetano Veloso, Barbican

Caetano Veloso gets more extraordinary. After his 2010 show in London, one critic (me) said that at 67 his “wings seemed a little clipped”. Maybe that show, which was quite short, wasn’t the best he’d ever given. But maybe I was wrong. At 71, this...

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DVD: Reaching for the Moon

Films in which poetry is almost a character can often become bombastic, but there’s no danger of that in Bruno Barreto’s Reaching for the Moon, whose heroine is the repressed, rather quiet American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto): speaking...

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What Graeae did next

As an 11-year-old, I used to love writing my address as My Bedroom, 50 Ridsdale Rd, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, England, Great Britain, The World, The Universe. We belong to ourselves, but our sense of belonging is also about people and places...

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CD: Karol Conka – Batukfreak

It’s strange that probably most of the best-known Brazilian artists here are over 60 and from one state, Bahia - those being Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Maria Bethania and Tom Zé. Brazil is the size of Europe, though, and of course there are...

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Villa Lobos: Total Immersion, Barbican

“This is not so much a total immersion, more of a quick shower,” said Simon Wright, biographer of Villa Lobos at the start of the day-long exploration of his music. With up to 1,500 works in existence – the exact number is unconfirmed – he promised...

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Hermeto Pascoal, Ronnie Scott's

Squeaking toy pigs. Tea pots. Bicycle pumps. Yes, the dynamic Brazilian composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal was back in town, making a rare appearance at Ronnie Scott's. Described by Miles Davis as “the most impressive...

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