Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seu Jorge and Almaz -- 9:30 Club - July 27 2010

Seu Jorge and Almaz - It is at the point that I may just start seeing everything that comes from Brazil as I have not been disappointed and have often been enlightened at the exciting music that has made its way north of the Equator. Granted, I have seen some legends like Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, but I was also enchanted by a female singer from Thievery Corporation who I saw years ago. And that brings us to another Brazilian singer from Thievery Corporation, Seu Jorge. He has assembled a simple band of guitar, bass and two percussionists and calls it Amaz. He sings all vocals, plays some flute and synthesizer and guitar at night's end. They hit the stage playing some incredibly droning psychedelic mind bender complete with spacey flute. This was a great cross between Os Mutantes and Dead Meadow with Ian Curtis (Joy Division) on vocals. The only problem with this was my jaw dropped so far, that it would be impossible to sustain this level of brilliance. So they pulled back a bit merely by moving more to Caetano Veloso classical/rock/psyche vibe. Samba beats, heavy guitar on occasion, great vocals--truly infectious material. Just as I settled in, they whipped another curve ball in with a cover of Kraftwerk's "The Model" which they may have learned from the original or from the Big Black version (as I did). More originals, a cover or two I did not pick up on and one more that I did with "Ziggy Stardust" sung in Portugese. Jorge did a two song encore with just voice and his guitar and a percussionist joined him on one of the songs. The band went over huge with everyone and obviously I was totally good with that. The reminded me of all my favorites from Brazil, North America and Europe. They really knew how to combine the elements into a dazzling stew.

Shirt of the Night - I am at a Brazilian show and the guy next to me is wearing a soccer jersey. No surprise there, but it's of "Bellamy"? Is that the Welsh polarizing fireball Craig Bellamy from Man City? How can that be with all the available Brazilian soccer jerseys available? Well, in looking it up at home, it may have been a DC United jersey although I don't know of a Bellamy on the roster. Anyway, the soccer jerseys are always interesting to me, but next Brazil show, please stick with Luis Fabiano or Kaka. I confuse easily.


Anonymous said...

I agree with all the credit given to Seu Jorge. As a person that has been following him since the beginning of career, I can respect him as the type of artist who is always trying to re-invent himself. With that said, I think yesterday's show was a MAJOR UPSET for many of his longtime fans. He refused to play any samba, which is how he rose into the scene. He even gave a speech on how Brazilians need to look beyond samba. I understand you want to try something new, but you must also cater to your fan base. If we paid almost $30 to see you, we go to appreciate your new material, but also to enjoy some of your classics. He didn't have his guitar- another major upset. Toward the end, he did Ze do Caroco and then briefly covered his classics, how with 0 passion and it almost seemed force. I must say, a lot of his original fans left that show upset and highly underwhelmed... we expected so much more from Seu Jorge!
For new fans, he did put on a good show. But this isn't the Seu Jorge we have all grown to love and respect!

Anonymous said...

You know where i can find the whole setlist? If so, please give me a holler... snappingleather at gmail. Thanks

David Hintz said...

I don't see a setlist at some of the sites I frequent. Sorry. As to the new direction, let me just say this. Brazilians have been looking beyond samba for some time. That is what I love about much of the music coming out of there. It is the same with the protectors of folk music like Ewan MacColl in the UK and the people that gave Bob Dylan a hard time for plugging in a guitar. I would be more sypmathetic if there were not 1,000 other artists out there doing traditional music for those who want it. But for those musicians who need to move on, it is up to the crowd to go with them or stay behind. I am not an expert on Jorge's solo career to know enough if this truly surprised the audience. I mean this guy sings with Thievery Corporation, hardly a traditional band. And this was advertised with a band, so that is a signal things may be different. But to each his own. I preferred the set far more than the encores. Thanks for bringing in another view.