DJ and producer Gilles Peterson dug deep into the sounds of Brazil to record “Brasil Bam Bam Bam,” a winning alternative World Cup album featuring a tight team of diverse artists from the home country that will transcend this summer’s soccer celebration. The album is out May 27 on Harvest Records.
Going beyond the familiar Carnival sound bites that have permeated this year’s World Cup songs, Peterson created an album that captures the multifaceted moods of a country and its musical history.
Peterson, best known for his wide-reaching BBC radio programs and an alchemist when it comes to making local music global in both an authentic and current way, describes himself as “a fan and champion of Brazilian music in the clubs and on radio for the last 25 years.”
He put together a sort of super group of multigenerational artists under the name Sonzeira. They include 74-year-old Elza Soares, known as “the Queen of Samba,” whose soul-wrenching growl on the standard “Aquarela do Brasil” recalls Nina Simone. By the time the track’s intense tribal drumming builds into a funky psychedelic swirl, you’ll understand why Peterson calls Brazilian music “celebration in the face of adversity.”
“Sambãio,” features singer/actor Seu Jorge, best known to U.S. audiences for his appearance as a character in Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic,” and who played bossa-tinged Bowie covers in the 2004 film. Here, he’s joined by vocalist Nina Miranda on a feel good song that shows how Brazilian dance music is done. Listen to “Sambãio” here.
Jorge is also the voice of a World cup promo spot for ESPN, and a current soccer-related campaign for LG in Brazil.
“Brazil’s music culture is massive,” Peterson says about the concept behind ‘Bam,Bam,Bam. “…I wanted to try and cover it all – to make a kind of Buena Vista meets club culture, but to keep it sonically very modern.”