Sprawled across broad equatorial latitudes
Stoked and steamed and sensual in the widest sense of the word
Limned in prosody and cadenced song

brəˈzɪl / "a confluence of heat & light" / from "brasa", Latin for "ember"

 

The matrix begins here, where Bule Bule (leather hat above) sings "Chegou a hora dessa gente bronzeada mostrar seu valor / The time has come for these bronzed people to show their value"...

 

But like the world-girdling arboreal canopy of a rainforest tree rooted in the Recôncavo (across the bay from where Bule plays knife & plate and Orlando plays pandeiro), the matrix reaches to encompass all of the visionary worlds up & down this randomly-generated stack (video by Betão Aguiar).

Below find a window into the heart of the matrix, where artists (in the broadest sense) can recommend other artists, and likewise be recommended. The matrix is "small world", meaning that everybody in it is within mere steps of most everybody else in it. Kamasi Washington is one step from Brazil. Several times over.

The matrix began with the living musicians included in the "radio" below lauded by The Guardian as one of "10 of the Best Music Radio Stations Around the World". A COMPLETE EXPLANATION of the matrix, its why and its ethos, follow the radio.

Two Black Americas

 

RECÔNCAVO BRAZIL

The area around the great bay over which Salvador presides like a rough-cut but radiant black diamond is where the profoundest root of Afro-Brazilian civilization gave rise to the scintillating fluorescence which continues to illuminate (and move) bedazzling Brazil…after a journey closely paralleling that of the cultural genius of African-Americans in the United States…

 

The U.S. was scene of a world-shaking migration from the plantation country of the rural south to the cities of the north. These people... (continue...)

Dancing Gods

 

Did you know that Brazil has a pantheon? In the sense that the Greeks and the Romans did? The Greek and Roman gods were done in by Constantine (first blow) and Theodosius (final blow). The gods of Brazil were born in Africa and arrived in Brazil within the negreiros making the Middle Passage, a voyage which transported not only people, but a culture. There was a great attempt by the Brazilian poobahs to exterminate the gods of Africa in Brazil, but it didn’t work (the chula above is a popular manifestation of the rhythms for Cabila, or Cabula, deity of the hunt in the candomblé of Brazilian Bantus).

 

As the Roman emperors moved to extinguish the very real belief in Jupiter, Apollo, Venus, Minerva and the rest, banning the ceremonies to these deities, the Brazilian “authorities” banned the ceremonies devoted to Oxalá, Oxossi, Iansã... (continue...)

TAPPING A CATEGORY will show you other artists within that category.

Pandeirista on the Roof

 

Raimundo Sodré, in a conversation ranging through New Orleans and Harlem and the South Side of Chicago ... and Appalachia and Irish villages and Russian shtetls and the unofficial symbol of Brazil's Bahian-born national music almost certainly having arrived in Brazil in the hands of Sephardic Jews (including conversos) fleeing the Inquisition, once remarked: "Where there's misery, there's music..."

 

Behold the Star of David Illuminating the Bahia Sky!

Modern Legends

 

Severino felt his pockets for coins and bills to measure the day. He placed his two steel coolers next to the front door on his way into the house, and paused to thank God for his arrival home, as he always did. He scraped off the red-brown mud caked to his sandals, and hung his black felt fedora, dripping wet, on the wall.

 

It wasn’t good. (continue...)

The Essential Music of Bahia

 

Bahia is a hot cauldron of rhythms and musical styles, but one particular style here is so utterly essential, so utterly fundamental not only to Bahian music specifically but to Brazilian music in general — occupying a place here analogous to that of the blues in the United States — that it deserves singling out. It is derived from (or some say brother to) the cabila rhythm of candomblé angola…

 

…and it is called… (continue...)