Download Brazilian Music!

Download Brazilian Music from Cana Brava Records in Salvador, Bahia
Samba de Roda Raízes de Acupe, from the village of Acupe, Bahia, in Cana Brava Records in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. If you can’t be here in person then Cana Brava Records comes to YOU! Below!

This is an out-of-the-ordinary music download “service” — Brazilian music download service to be more specific…

I own and run Cana Brava Records, a shop devoted to some of the world’s most profoundly unknown music, played by some of the world’s poorest musicians (or to rephrase slightly: some of the world’s most profound music, played by some of the world’s most culturally rich musicians).

We established Cana Brava (in 2005) to divulge the samba of the Bahian Recôncavo and sertão (backlands)…Brazil’s highly moving analogue to the deep delta blues.

We also carry music of and music based in candomblé, and samba carioca (from Rio), and choro…

One of the recordings we produced ourselves. Others were produced by friends of ours. Others were ripped from vinyl released by record companies long out of business (and acquired by a friend of ours).

Our price in the shop for this music burned to CDs and printed with images, song titles, etc., is 29 Brazilian reais.

We are not iTunes and not Spotify (although we do have our Brazilify (an admonition; not a name!) Brazilian music streamer on the homepage of this site at www.bahia-online.net; take off your shoes and help yourself!!!).

Here’s how it works:

1) You send me an email at randy@matrix121.com telling me what you are interested in hearing, based on my descriptions or your own prior knowledge. Or your desire to experiment.

2) I will send you download links.

3) If you want to buy the music you’ve downloaded, you pay me whatever you like for it after you already have it, via paypal, using randy@matrix121.com.

It’s your choice. You’re the boss. The ball’s in your park (as an American, which I am, would say)…

The songs will come as 320 kbps mp3s, zipped.

Beleza pura! (Pure beauty!)

Dengo by Raimundo Sodré of Ipirá, Bahia (currently residing in Salvador)

This is chula and samba-de-roda and forró and ijexá…music of Bahia’s Recôncavo and sertão (backlands)…

It moooooooooves like an electron quantum-dancing around a hydrogen nucleus in the solar corona!!!!!!

Raimundo Sodré of Ipirá, Bahia

There are 13 tracks on this record.

This one you can also — should you care to — download via Bandcamp, right here!

Raimundo Sodré (the last name is pronounced “saw-DREY”) is one of the most fundamentally important musicians in Bahia…at the forefront of a handful of people who play a very African style of samba which predates and is a precursor to Rio-style samba, a style which could be said to be analogous to the blues in the United States (although far more rhythmic).

Bahian samba is samba-de-roda (roda is “circle”) and this samba dates back to when the Bantu slaves on Bahia’s sugarcane plantations would gather into circles, clapping and singing, one slave inside the circle showing off is or her hottest moves. This was the slaves’ manner of turning misery – for a short time anyway – into the sublimely elemental joy of simply being alive.

Raimundo is also heir to Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro, last in a great triumvirate of masters of the moving music of the sertão), the hardscrabble backlands of Brazil’s Nordeste, or Northeast).

DENGO (“dengo” is a desire for affection) is something of a culmination for Raimundo, who returned to Bahia eighteen years ago after years of exile imposed when he was threatened with death after a show during which Raimundo spoke out openly against the dictatorship (in force until 1984).

Before his exile, Raimundo was one of Brazil’s brightest stars (his protest song/hit “A Massa” — Dengo’s second track – was an absolute phenomenon in Brazil in 1980) and now his star is rising again to take its right place over the Recôncavo (plantation region around the Bay of All Saints) and sertão.

Like the blues, samba is a genre where the musicians – steeped in tradition – just get better with time, and Raimundo Sodré is now at the top of his form. He’s one of a handful of the greatest representatives of his/their wonderful (although dying out!) style of music, the very style which would eventually develop into the national music of Brazil. Viva!

Email me at randy@matrix121.com and I’ll send you a link to download the music! Remember, pay what you want, only if you wish to pay!

Chulas by João do Boi (and Family and Friends) of São Braz, Bahia

João do Boi of São Braz, Bahia
João do Boi (John of the Ox) out front of his house in São Braz, Bahia, Brazil

There are 9 tracks (some of them are looooong) on this record.

Samba-chula (or samba-de-roda, there is a slight difference) is a seminal but dying art played nowadays by a mere handful of people. The music fulfilled a role analogous to that of the delta blues in the United States in that it was/is the root foundation for most everything which came after it in Brazil’s musical world, from the golden age of radio to bossa nova to tropicália to Brazilian hip hop. And ironically and in total contradiction to the situation of the blues, this cornerstone of culture now finds itself precariously close to disappearing forever (although those last legs certainly do have some life left in them!).

“Chula” is a Portuguese-language word denoting something worthless, of no value. It was applied by the masters to the music of the Bantus on the sugarcane plantations of the Bahian Recôncavo, coming to be innocently used by the slaves themselves and eventually metamorphosing into a term of pride. The rhythmic basis for samba-chula is that of the candomblé rhythm called cabila, or cabula, utilized in candomblé angola (candomblé is the West African religion transplanted to Brazil aboard the negreiros; candomblé angola was the first of the three candomblé nations to arrive on Brazilian soil.) Laced into the polyrhythms of the atabaques, pandeiros, and rebôlo are the patterns of the cavaquinho (a small, high-pitched string instrument), the viola (a double-strung guitar-like instrument, though smaller), and the violão (guitar); (specific instrumentation varies from group to group). The dancing style — precursor to the more ostentatious style of Rio de Janeiro — echoes that of candomblé angola ceremonies.

Towards the end of the 19th century there was a huge outpouring of freed Bahian slaves moving to Rio, looking for work. These people carried their music with them to the territory around another great bay (Guanabara), where their descendents, forced up into the morros (hills) would come to see this heritage rise from its lowly-esteemed position to proudly assume the mantle of the National Music of Brazil. But not all freed slaves would make the journey south, and in Bahia the primordial samba, samba-chula, would live on, sublimating away over the course of a century-and-some-decades like vapor from dry ice until now almost nothing is left behind.

Of the few people left in the backwaters of Bahia who continue to sing and play this essential music (having learned it from their parents, who learned it from their parents, who learned it from…), it can be safely stated that none express it with more vitality and charisma than the Saturno Brothers, João and Antônio, popularly known as João do Boi (John of the Ox, for the cows he keeps) and Alumínio (Aluminum, for the way he shone, literally, as an energetic, sweat-drenched kid on the football fields of his youth).

The brothers play together with friends and family from the small community of São Braz, located some 5 kilometers outside of Santo Amaro, itself located at the north end of the Baía de Todos os Santos (Bay of All Saints), the huge bay “discovered” by Amerigo Vespucci on All Saints Day in 1501 (Santo Amaro is hometown to Caetano Veloso and his sister Maria Bethânia).

It’d be great to board a time-machine and pay a visit to 1930s Louisiana or Mississippi or Alabama, stepping up to a front porch on a humid summer’s evening to clap hands to the rural American version of the above. But alas that time is gone and the time-machine is only a wistful figment of our imagination. Things have “progressed” more slowly here, but soon enough one will never be able to see or hear again what now requires but a journey into the Bahian interior to bear witness (or dance) to, if one knows where to go, and on what night…

Email me at randy@matrix121.com and I’ll send you a link to download the music! Remember, pay what you want, only if you wish to pay!

Samba de Roda: Patrimônio da Humanidade by people of the Recôncavo

Samba de Roda, Bahia, Brazil

There are 22 tracks on this record.

This is a collection of twenty-two recordings of thirteen traditional groups in the Bahian Recôncavo (birthplace of Brazilian samba), these recordings taking place in the communities of the artists themselves as a part of the dossier for samba de roda’s candidacy for official recognition by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (which was granted).

Released January 6, 2005

Research Coordinator: Carlos Sandroni

Researchers: Ari Lima / Francisca Marques / Josias Pires / Katharina Doring / Suzana Martins

Email me at randy@matrix121.com and I’ll send you a link to download the music! Remember, pay what you want, only if you wish to pay!

* The photo is of Dona Dalva de Cachoeira — who has gone from singing (cigar) factory girl to grand matriarch of Bahian samba — seated in front of house (I took the photo).

Os Tincoãs 1973, of Cachoeira, Bahia

Os Tincoãs, Cachoeira, Bahia, Brazil

A tincoã is a bird native to wide swathes of South America, called by many different names,  including in Brazil “alma-perdido” (lost soul) due to its strangely moanlike song.

Os (The) Tincoãs was a trio from Cachoeira on the Paraguaçu River, singing songs of their own composition…based in candomblé…in a vocal style based in black American spirituals.

The principal songwriter was Mateus Aleluia who continues to compose and sing, enveloping listeners in beautiful axé emanating from the Roça de Ventura (the house of candomblé in which Mateus was raised) on the outskirts of Cachoeira.

The image on the CD above is not taken from the LP. The image on the LP is of the trio on a beach in something like faux capoeira pants. It was taken in Rio and is kind of a fake idea hatched by the record company’s art department. I decided to just go with a tincoã.

Email me at randy@matrix121.com and I’ll send you a link to download the music! Remember, pay what you want, only if you wish to pay!

Carlos Cachaça of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Carlos Cachaça of Brazil

This is a great record! Recorded in 1976, when Carlos Cachaça was 74 years old. All compositions are his, some together with Cartola, and the famous “Alvorada” written together with Cartola and Hermínio Bello de Carvalhho (Carlos wrote the “A” part).

It was produced by Pelão, who several years earlier had produced a record by Nelson Cavaquinho and who had bucked the standard record company commercial production standards (they didn’t even want Nelson — known for his idiosyncratic style — to play guitar!), calling in Rio’s great players and doing the production straight, as if the musicians were sitting in front of one playing and singing. What inspired Pelão’s intransigence? For one thing, this was his first job ever producing a record! He didn’t really know what he was doing, but whatever he did it was going to be his way!

Pelão
Producer Pelão nowadays. In addition to loving samba he loves beer (not an uncommon combination, of course).

After Nelson Cavaquinho, Pelão implored to be assigned as producer of Cartola’s first record, a wish which was granted. But Marcus Pereira, owner of the small label behind the recording, didn’t like the record and didn’t want to release it. Pelão complained to a friend of his, influential journalist Maurício Kubrusly, who the next day published an article (translating here): “Here Comes the Best Record of the Year — Cartola’s First LP!” The record was released and was a huge critical success, with solid sales. It’s still in print.

Unlike Carlos Cachaça’s only record. Which included Meira (teacher of Baden Powell and Raphael Rabello) on guitar, Canhoto on cavaquinho, and Marçal playing percussion, among other amazing musicians.

Carlos Cachaça was one of the founders of the Mangueira samba school. He was born in Mangueira, and despite his nickname (his real name was Carlos Moreira de Castro) he was not a drunk (cachaça being Brazil’s close cousin to rum). The story is that he was at a party with two other guys named “Carlos” and given that he didn’t drink beer — preferring to sip cane liquor — he got stuck with the name. Defenders are quick to point out that he worked his entire working life at Central do Brasil (the train terminal) in various capacities and never missed a day.

That was his employment. Samba was his calling.

Much to come!