Samba Rock

Thirty years after their recording debut and 26 years since their last album, the original members of Brazil's Trio Mocotó—Luiz Carlos Fritz, Nereu Gargalo, and João Parahyba

Thirty years after their recording debut and 26 years since their last album, the original members of Brazil's Trio Mocotó—Luiz Carlos Fritz, Nereu Gargalo, and João Parahyba—return with a new set. That Samba Rock is musically superlative was expected, given the pedigree of the players. What's surprising is the relevance of the music and the contemporary feel of Mocotó's blend of samba, funk, and jazz. Alternately whimsical and virtuosic, Samba Rock transforms such basic samba tracks as "Nereu Nereu" into musical kaleidoscopes, where soul-tinged vocals intertwine with jazz riffs and touches of electronica. Although instrumental tracks like "Mocotó Beat" are jazz-skewed, Samba Rock is eminently danceable; its Brazilian percussion and choruses, as well as humorous vocals, make for one high-caliber joy ride.—LC