BANANAS

Emilio Santiago: Bananeira & Brother
From Emilio Santiago (CID, 1975)

I’m not as big of a fan of Brazilian (i.e. samba, bossa, etc.) as I am of Latin soul (i.e. boogaloo, guajira, etc.) but I’m trying to learn more about the former, especially since there’s such a wealth of great Brazilian music. Especially when it comes to more funky and soulful material, I’m always discovering new artists, having already sampled the likes of Jorge Ben and Tim Maia. Santiago is still going strong as an artist today – he’s considered a giant in the genre – but these two songs are from what I’m assuming is his first (or one of his first) albums, a self-titled affair from 1970 which covers songs by Ben, Joao Donato and others. “Bananeira” sounds like it belongs on some blaxploitation soundtrack for a movie set in the favelas of Sao Paulo while “Brother” is an incredibly soulful ode to Jesus that, despite my agnosticism, left me swooning.

By the way, call me crazy, but isn’t Santiago a dead ringer for actor Luiz Guzman on this cover?

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