Márcio Local Says, ”Don Day Don Dree Don Don”: Adventures In Samba SoulCD Will Be Released: May 12, 2009
Released By Luaka Bop
Márcio Local stands at the crossroads of two great traditions in modern Brazilian music, with one foot in samba, the heavily percussive Afro-Brazilian dance music that took its modern form in the early twentieth century, and the other in soul, the African American music rooted in the blues that attracted a mass audience in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s. Once regarded as a faddish import, soul music has been effectively Brazilianized such that it now constitutes a local tradition in big cities like São Paulo and Márcio’s home town of Rio de Janeiro. Márcio has also discovered ways to combine these two traditions to forge new variations of samba-soul by exploring the ever-expanding modern soundscape of Rio.
His tunes are populated by hustlers with street savvy, triumphant soccer stars, fantastically talented dancers, and elegant black women– as in “Preta Luxo” (Black Lady Luxury). These songs celebrate a Rio de Janeiro steeped in Afro-Brazilian traditions, yet constantly devouring and reinventing new sounds and styles. On this album Márcio Local pays homage to earlier generations of black artists in Brazil who forged new combinations of R&B, soul, and funk with samba, bossa nova, and other Brazilian sounds. He collaborated with producer Mario Caldato, as well as Armando Pittigliani who worked with Jorge Ben at the beginning of his career in the 1960s. In other songs we hear the sound of Wilson Simonal, known in the late 1960s as the ‘rei do pilantragem’- the king of hustlers. Pilantragem was a playful style of soul samba, bolstered by a fat horn section, often involving risqué double entendre and flirtatious boasting. Marcio revives this sound in songs like “Ela não tá nem aí” (She pays no mind) and one of his local hits, “Happy Endings”.
Many of the reports from Rio today speak of narco-gang warfare, police repression, and the general dissolution of the social fabric. The denunciation of violence has inevitably emerged as a key theme in a lot of the contemporary culture of urban Brazil today. This context lurks in the background of Márcio’s songs, but he constantly reminds us that Rio is also a place of beauty, revelry, and hope.