Various Samba Soul 70

You will never have another dull summertime party. Samba Soul 70 is a brilliantly executed idea, and it makes other Brazilian compilations seem dull by comparison. This is a collection of soul and funk-influenced scorchers ranging mostly from the late '60s through the late '70s, influenced by the funky sounds of the U.S. Though the compilers claim "these grooves were inspired by the Black Power movement of the States," these racially diverse artists were more likely inspired by the freedom sounds of the tropicalia movement and other specifically Brazilian issues of identity. Plus, these grooves are all about up-tempo party music, not protest. With its no accident fruity cocktails featured on the front cover, Samba Soul 70 is perfectly paced to keep a conversation bubbly. The overall softness of Brazilian grooves of this era are profusely spiked with guitars and breaks galore, so that no song comes close to degenerating into schmaltz. On the contrary, tunes by Elza ("the Brazilian Tina Turner") Soares and the great Elis Regina totally rock out. Each song is a captivating fusion of rim-shots, JB guitar, orchestral flourishes and trippy production. This disc doesn't run out of gas once, right through until the country hoe-down ending of Trio Mocoto's "Que Nega E Esa" at the very end. (Six Degrees)