Various Artists

Brazil Classics, Vol. 3: Forro, Etc.

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When David Byrne first visited the Salvador/Bahia region in 1986, a new musical form that he never heard before amazed him. Dubbed forro, this dance sound originally hailed from northeastern Brazil, described as "a mixture of ska with polka" by Byrne himself. All of the album's tracks radiate a strong, positive energy, created in the most part by reggae-ish acoustic guitars, melodic accordions, and never-ending contagious rhythms. And although this musical style could be compared to America's zydeco sound, forro is intended mainly for parties. Brazil Classics, Vol. 3 was compiled by Byrne himself and features the very best artists and compositions that the genre has to offer. Highlights include Luiz Gonzaga's excellent opener, "O Fole Roncou" (bordering on funk), Dominguinhos' laid-back "Querubim," and the hyper-energetic "Festa do Interior" by Gal Costa. A superb introduction to the exotic style of forro, and highly recommended.

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