Various Artists

Samba Soul 70!

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From the same label that brought listeners the incredible Frikyiwa and African Travels compilations, Samba Soul 70! is a deliciously retro flashback to Brazil's infectious musical movement of the late '60s/early '70s. Inspired by the American Black Power movement and public figures like Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr., Brazilian musicians adopted the "Black is Beautiful" motto and created their own musical hybrid, combining elements of soul, funk, and R&B with jazz and samba to create samba soul. It's a sound that seems somehow familiar: Songs like Erlon Chaves' "Cosa Nostra" wouldn't sound all that out of place in a blaxploitation film, while Som Três' percussion and horn-laden "Homenagem a Mongo" could've easily replaced "Calypso Breakdown" on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. If you like Latin music at all, or just found yourself wanting to get up and do a little impromptu shimmy-shake to the groovy songs in Austin Powers, this 16-song compilation is a great party record perfect for burning up a long, hot summer.

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