This week is gonna be kind of sparse, unfortunately. I’m DJing a bunch this week, including tonight for the Nixon after party for a surf contest in Seaside, NJ, plus preparing for the Budos Band gig in Brooklyn on Thursday the 22nd. I’ll be doing an all 45 set alongside DJ Old Chris, Voodoo Funk, and Damu the Fudgemunk. Unfortunately, this weekend was really not my weekend. Pair that with a couple of Nor’Easters here in New Jersey and the weekend was pretty bad. But, and this is a big but, I’m pressing on. I bought this record from my man over at Soul Spectrum, pretty much all things Brazilian. It’s a mighty damn fine blog, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, I suggest you do. Since the Winter really is here, I thought I’d revisit a bit of Summer to lift my spirits a little. This guy always gets me amped, and if you have no idea who this man is, I suggest you get familiar. Here’s Jorge Ben with “Cuidado Com O Bulldog” on Phillips records.
Born Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes in 1940 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1940, Jorge Ben has had a great musical career doing it all his way. He too had his start in the church and was influenced as well as encourgaed by his mother to be a musician. Originally a pandiero player (Brazilian tambourine), Jorge became quite good at bossa nova guitar. Musically, he was influenced by players such as Gilberto Gil and Joao Gilberto, but took his own path. His song “Mas Que Nada” started his career off right in 1963. From there he never looked back. Combining, traditional Brazilian music, bossa nova, rock, and even African rhythms, Jorge Ben is a tremendous musician in his own right. While “Mas Que Nada” has been covered by everyone, including Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66 and the Tamba Trio, the cut was one of the most popular songs of all time sung in Porteguese, even here in the United States. His self titled record in 1969, backed by Trio Mocot (who were successful in their own right after playing with Ben) gave way to more success with the sides “País Tropical and “Charles, Anjo 45”. The 70’s were Jorge Ben’s most experimental time. He would release “A Tábua de Esmeralda”, “Solta o Pavão” ( where this side comes from) and “África Brasil” ( which DJ Prime-Mundo just got a clean copy of at the Spot!). As usual, atthe time the records were met with some tepid, lukewarm feelings and reviews. Fast forward to today and people want them. I was lucky to get this record, and I paid a few bucks for it, but you never see this stuff around really (At least in my experience). Jorge Ben would change his name to Jorge Benjor in 1989. He still continues to do his thing today, and he does it well.
“Bulldog” starts off rather fast, maybe a little frantic, but then transitions right into the Jorge Ben we all know and love. Slow and steady Ben moves through this side leaving me feeling refreshed, wishing I had a caipirinha prepared by my man DJ APB. Ben takes us out fast and furious again. I love this tune. It may not be funky in the traditional Flea Market Funk funky, but it’s one helluva side. I ask all of my readers to check out Jorge Ben if you haven’t. He is one incredibly talented musician, that I feel is overlooked. My man Prime-Mundo got me into him back in the day, and I thank him for it. Even though I love the Fall/ Winter, I needed to go back to a warmer time, and this song did the trick. Keep Diggin’!