This week marks the second anniversary of Breath of Life. As we did last year, instead of posting new tracks, Kalamu’s going to pick his favorites from Mtume’s selections of the previous year and Mtume is going to do the same with Kalamu’s selections. And, of course, Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

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Mtume’s Picks

Artist: Sergio Mendes feat. Carmen Alice
Song: “What Is This?”
Album: Brasileiro (Elektra, 1992)
Originally Posted July 2nd, 2006

What a beautiful record. It’s as if a spoken-word/hip-hop song organically assembled itself from bits and parts of a Bahian street festival.  

Artist: Joi
Song: “Co-Stars”
Album: Tennessee Slim Is The Bomb (Joilicious, 2006)
Originally Posted December 24th, 2006

I never do remember the words, but the melody is so big, bold and inspiring – almost epic – and yet there’s a quiet sadness too. I could listen to this song all day.

Artist: Terry Callier
Song: “Dancing Girl”
Album: What Color Is Love (Cadet, 1972)
Originally Posted May 6, 2007

I love Terry Callier’s warm voice and affirmative spirit, and this mini-suite from 1972 provides extra-large helpings of both. Not many artists have been able to effectively merge folk and soul, but Terry has been doing it—and doing it well—for more than three decades.

sara tavares 23.jpg  
Artist: Sara Tavares
Song: “Guisa”
Album: Live Performance at the Kennedy Center (January, 2007)
Originally Posted April 1st, 2007

This is one of those wisp-like moments of aural beauty that seem almost too gentle to actually exist. You keep hitting repeat just to make sure it’s still there. I checked Sara’s website to find out what the song is about. Here’s an excerpt:


Amor, amar ao ponto de desaparecer
Ao ponto de esquecer-me
Onde comeco e onde termino
Sem ti perco o chão

To love, to love to the point of disappearing
To the point where I forget
Where I start and end
Without you I lose my bearing
It doesn’t get much better than that.

—Mtume ya Salaam


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Kalamu’s Picks

Son, you got kind of carried away with your picks on the contemporary tip. I thought we agree to choose one or two. Couldn’t make up your mind, huh?

On second thought, I do remember us saying we could pick howsoever many we wanted to, well, anyway what’s good for the goose… is great for the gander.

Artist: The Beathunters
Song: “Angie’s Summer Night”
Album: From Promo Only (2005)
Originally Posted January 7th, 2007

Two things: 1. This is a remix and 2. It’s not available commercially. I liked what Angie Stone did on the Stevie Wonder (say, Mtume, when we gonna do our Stevie special?) tribute album but I never really, really got into Angie as a recording artist until you dropped this remix. Since then, I have acquired two DVDs and a number of recordings. To my ears, her output is spotty but, damn, when she hits, she sho nuff hits. This version also is an example of a well-produced remix, which I consider an artform onto itself. (And to judge from the write-up, Mtume, you also agree that remixing is an artform.) Niceness.

Here it comes again…. I can’t help myself when it comes to Sara Tavares. So, Mtume, instead of picking a second track you dropped, I’m going to agree with your third pick, Sara’s “Guisa,” except I’m going to take it to another level and offer up a choice goodie that is not commercially available. In the jukebox is both the Kennedy Center version that we posted on April Fool’s day this year AND a version from a 2006 performance in Amsterdam. Listen. Enjoy.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

P.S. I was just listening to “Guisa.” On the secular side: that shit is the bomb! On the spiritual side: (to quote Carmen Alice) We ae in heaven!

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 17th, 2007 at 2:07 am and is filed under Contemporary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “SARA TAVARES/ “Guisa””

Kayvon Says:
June 20th, 2007 at 7:13 am

Have to disagree on the Angie Stone track, that’s not a well produced remix, someone’s just wacked the orig Angie Stone vocal over Les Nuits by Nightmares on Wax (with extra Pharcyde/Quincy added in). The vocals aren’t even in sync with the beats.

Maybe it’s because i’m familiar with all the tracks that make it up. It’d work as a live mix but not a studio redub.

       Mtume says:      

Kayvon’s right. It’s actually not a remix – it’s a mashup. Check out the original post for details about the tracks used. And he’s right that the vocals go in and out of sync. For me, it just adds to the off-the-wall appeal of the song. It’s strange, but I like it.

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