Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo - Siriá (4 stars)

Collection celebrating great Brazilian bandleader

Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo - Siriá

(Analog Africa)

Following two magical trips to Colombia, Analog Africa continues its exploration of Latin America's under-recognised music with this celebration of the great Brazilian bandleader Mestre Cupijó, who died in 2012. Cupijó was the moderniser of Siriá, a blend of the music of escaped African slaves and that of the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest. Relatively obscure in the rest of Brazil, Siriá is the carnival music of the northern state of Pará, boasting bright, tropical horns and syncopated rhythms. The selections here are drawn from Cupijó's six studio albums, yet they have the feverish ambience of a great live recording. It's impossible to sit still or feel blue while listening to this music. One of his most popular tunes, 'Mingau de Açai', sets the scene with its boisterous saxophone riffs and witty vocals, while 'Farol Do Marajó' weaves a more delicate, Joao Gilberto-like vocal into its brassy grooves.

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