VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Escravos de Jo” Mixtape

MP3 03 Escravos de Jo Mixtape.mp3 (32.22 MB)

Milton Nascimento. To my ears there are three great movements in Brazilian music that are distinctive and important. One is the richness of the favela music known as samba. Two is the internationally loved chill music known as bossa nova. And three is Milton Nascimento.
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Here is a song from a ballet score conceived by Milton Nascimento. Escravos translates as “slaves.” This is anthropological work at its most profound and most authentic. As with many, many Nascimento songs, there is something profoundly and complexly moving about the melody, and simultaneously there is something simple and beautiful. You can not only hum along when you first hear it, you feel like you want to hum, want to sing.

How can joy and freedom be elements of a song about slavery? What Milton has captured is the heart of black music: the expression of freedom even while in captivity.

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01 Milton Nascimento
We have six versions beginning with Milton from his 1974 album Milagre dos Peixes.

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02 Dom Um Romao
Percussionist Dom Um Romao cut a wonderful jazz album entitled Hotmosphere; his version is taken from that album.

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03 Da Lata
Da Lata is known for reshaping Brazilian music through remixing and adding non-Brazilian elements. Their version of “Escravos de Jo” (from their self-titled remix album) offers a prime example of the re-imagining the music.

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04 Ithamara Koorax remix featuring Dom Um Romao
We follow with a remix of Ithamara Koorax’s version. This “house” music version includes percussionist Dom Um Romao.

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05 Joe Claussell and Kerri Chandler
Next is the surprising jazz and house mashup by the team of Joe Claussell and Kerri Chandler featuring trumpeter Winston Byrd.

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06 Ithamara Koorax
We conclude with the original of Ithamara Koorax’s take that features spoken word elements from a Brazilian elder.

—Kalamu ya Salaam

This entry was posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 1:40 am and is filed under Cover. 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.

3 Responses to “VARIOUS ARTISTS / “Escravos de Jo” Mixtape”

Frat Says:
December 14th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

This music is resplendent. Thank you Milton! Thank you Kalamu! This is a berath of life.

lebo Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Wow. I’ve been listening to the Kerri Chandler house version of this song for a good 10 years and had no idea about the origins of the sample. I will check out Mr. Nascimento. Thanks!

Ithamara Koorax Says:
December 21st, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Dear Kalamu,
Thanks for your support!
Dom Um played drums & percussion on both the “original” (unmixed) and remixed versions.
The spoken words are by another great late Brazilian percussionist, Eloir de Moraes.
The Chandler/Claussell remix is shamelessly sampled from Dom Um’s version from his “Hotmosphere” album, with no credits to him…
Happy Holidays and Have a Super 2010!
Ithamara Koorax

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