Jorge Ben's reputation as one of Brazil's brightest talents was built during the '60s with such now-standard bossa nova tracks as "Mas Que Nada" and "País Tropical." His résumé continued to expand with the fine work he produced over the following decades, including some quality albums for Mango from the mid-'70s. This 1976 offering, Samba Nova, finds Ben using his samba base to explore bits of tropicalismo experimentation and American soul. Mostly, though, he sticks to his incredibly passionate and innovative samba hybrid and comes up with 12 of his finest numbers. Featuring the top-drawer backing of his regular band, Ben delivers pop that is both easily digestible and firmly rooted in complex roots elements from Brazil and around the world.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook