Jorge Ben’s Samba Esquema Novo

Jorge Ben’s masterpiece is somewhere between the soft sophistication of Bossa Nova and the hard, complicated, and cosmic debris of the Tropicália movement.

15Samba Esquema Novo  may lack the grit and conceptualism of Tom Ze or the fuzz and fury of Os Mutantes but is driven by complex rhythmic structures and the beautiful voice and changes of Jorge Ben. Ben’s playing and delivery are soft and inviting, yet the music’s rhythms will leave you counting and counting again, even once the record is over. This record has been quietly gaining steam and inspiring musicians from Brazil to Bangor since 1963. I’m surprised Wes Anderson hasn’t co-opted it yet for some movie about dejected rich people.

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