Sonidos y Mas

Sonidos Y Mas: Marcio Local

Marcio Local

Says Don Day Don Dree Don Don: Adventures in Samba Soul

During the late '60s and early '70s, Brazilian songwriters like the late Tim Maia and Jorge Ben became increasingly frustrated with the creative limitations of samba, and also felt out of place within the rock movement, though both did score hits within those genres - Maia wrote "Nao Vou Ficar" for then-teen idol Roberto Carlos, while Ben came up with "Mas Que Nada," the second-most covered Brazilian song after "The Girl From Ipanema."

The two musicians were later pivotal for the creation of Brazilian soul, a genre currently enjoying a revival in its native land via a group of young artists including Curumin, Moreno Veloso, Lulu Santos,CeU, Cibelle and especially Marcio Local, a Carioca (meaning born in Rio) singer-songwriter whose debut has just been released stateside, after a successful showcase at this year's GlobalFest in New York City.

Don Day Don Dree Don Don: Adventures in Samba Soul, though, differs from most Brazilian soul discs because it is more samba-based than most releases.

Highlights include the brass-heavy "Preta Luxo," a funky tune that describes his romance with a beautiful Afro-Brazilian woman who drives him crazy. Another great moment is " Represento," ("I Represent") in which he raps a warning against the Americanization of Brazilian culture via McDonald's, Harry Potter and shopping malls with images of the Statue of Liberty. At the same time, he reminds listeners about the samba de breque, a form of samba popularized 1950s Rio de Janeiro in which the singer spoke the lyrics in a manner similar to today's rappers, often waxing about issues affecting poor, inner city Rio dwellers.

Like many Cariocas, Local is proud of his native city, and that is evident in many of the tracks - on "Samba Sem Nenhum Problema" (Samba No Problem) he celebrates the city's soccer, beaches and especially its good-natured, friendly people. The same goes with "Soul do Samba," where he sends a shout-out to all the city's neighborhoods while stating (correctly) that samba was born in Rio.

Don Day Don is a great example of what Brazil's younger generation is doing these days. The disc is, as the blurb in the back cover says, "about lazy Saturday afternoons at the beach, a game of soccer, the drama of sexual seduction and the bustle of the urban scene."

As someone who has just returned from a trip to that very city, I couldn't have said it any better.

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Ernest Barteldes