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This page is part of a discography of Brazilian Soul Music and Funk reviewing artists under the letters N-Z... If you have some favorite albums or artists that you think should be added to this list, feel free to write me and suggest them as well...

Brazilian Funk & Soul: A | B | C | D | E-M | N-Z | Soul & Funk Compilations | Other Brazilian Styles

Nacao Zumbi - see artist discography

Quinteto Ternura "Quinteto Ternura" (RCA, 1974)
The vitality these ex-Jovem Guarda teens showed earlier in their career (as Trio Ternura) is sadly absent on this, their final album. Despite the Jackson Five-style outfits worn on the cover, this is calculatedly light, perky, breezy pop, following in the path of bands such as The Association or Terry Jacks, rather than the soul or psychedelic music they dabbled in earlier. The most striking track is the Joni Mitchell-styled "Consegui Concluir"; they also cover Caetano Veloso's "Baby," but in as bland a fashion as possible. Disappointing. (See Trio Ternura, below.)

Marku Ribas - see artist discography

Dom Salvador - See artist discography

Emilio Santiago - See artist discography

Lucas Santtana - see artist discography

Seu Jorge - see artist discography

Orlando Silveira & SOS "Band It" (Parlophone, 1974)
A kitschy disco-era novelty album, with instrumental numbers that range from jittery disco-funk to over-the-top cheesy-orchestral, along with some English-language vocal tunes. It's all very sound-libraryish and ripe for adulation by irony-addicted retro-ologists. Sorry, folks -- I just can't take music like this seriously, or spend the time to enjoy it as a joke. Apparently Orlando Silveira was a popular bandleader with a long career that stretched back into more traditional, substantive work than this... But his SOS ("Som Orlando Silveira") is really just a joke band, and can be treated as such.

The Silvery Boys "De Com Forca... Pra Frente" (RGE, 1967)
I first saw this band listed as part of a series of cheapo "samba-rock" collections -- a style that I like, but those particular comps were so cheesy-looking I just couldn't bring myself to pick them up. So I can't tell you (yet) it the Silvery Boys' samba-rock bona fides are based on these 'Sixties tracks, or on later, funkier stuff. Regardless, these guys had dynamism and a solid groove... You can certainly hear the seeds of any future funkiness in these frat-rockish Summer of Love recordings, which rely on a bouncy backbeat and lots of horn riffs and organ fills. For the Brazilian jovem guarda scene, this was pretty tight, although admittedly still a little goofy. Definitely worth a spin.

The Silvery Boys "The Silvery Boys" (RGE, 1968)

Silvinha - see artist discography

Wilson Simonal -- see artist profile

Wilson Simoninha "Volume 2" (Trama, 2000)

Wilson Simoninha "Sambaland Club" (Trama, 2002)
One of Wilson Simonal's two musicimaking sons (the other being Max De Castro), Simoninha travels the same roads as his dad, with a diverse mix of danceable soul, disco-y cabaret funk, slower pop tunes and the like. It's a lot like a Portuguese-language of Earth Wind & Fire... Simoninha has a nice voice (reminiscent of his dad, but with more fluid phrasing) but the music doesn't do much for me. Folks who are more into mainstream, modern R&B and soul might like this, though -- it's certainly worth checking out if you are on the clubby tip. Highights include a moody cover of his father's song, "Tributo A Martin Luther King" and a ten-minute long spoken word interview with Miele, about the good old days in the Brazilian nightclub scene. Seu Jorge guests on the bouncy, horn-based opening track, "Seja Bem Vindo."

Wilson Simoninha "Introducing Wilson Simoninha: Live Session At Trama Studios" (Trama, 2003)
A retrospective set that includes re-recordings of work from various albums, and some new material as well. Guest artist Cesar Camargo Mariano plays keyboards on an amped-up version of "Tributo A Martin Luther King" and Simoninha's band, S de Samba, chugs away on a lively set of funk-soul-samba tunes. Simoninha's fusion side comes out a bit more here, as well as a slinky debt to Jorge Ben Jor, and a hint of Joao Bosco, in his mellower moments. Still not anything I'd want to listen to for fun, but I can see where others might really dig it.

Wilson Simoninha "Melhor" (2008)

Elza Soares - see artist discography

Som Nosso De Cada Dia "SNEGS" (Continental, 1974) (LP)
(Produced by Julio Nagib & Peninha Schmidt)

The debut album by one of the best Brazilian rock (and funk) bands of the 1970s... Legendary and -- naturally -- out of print for years. Part of the band came from the remnants of the popular psychedelic/jovem guarda group, Os Incriveis... This is the only album with the band's co-founder, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Manito, of Os Incriveis... Haven't heard it yet, but I'm looking forward to the day when it gets reissued, so I can check it out...

Som Nosso De Cada Dia "A Procura Da Essencia: Ao Vivo 1975-1976" (Editio Princeps, 2004)
(Produced by Marcelo Spindola Bacha)

A 2-CD set of live recordings by Som Nosso De Cada Dia, one of the best and most forceful Brazilian prog-rock bands. Moogs and guitars aplenty ride atop a driving, at times brutal, beat... While contemporaries such as Os Mutantes and O Terco slid into a more pop-oriented sound, Som Nosso were far more hard-edged, keeping pace with genre founders such as Return To Forever and Chick Corea, although with an experimental bent that also suggests the work of Can and the krautrock scene, as well as soem boogie rock and old-school, Sabbath-y heavy metal. This challenging collection, culled from archival tapes kept by guitarist Egidio Conde, is packed with leviathan jams, ten minutes or longer and a rough-and-rugged feel that's really quite different that practically anything else coming out of Brazil at the time. Not what I'd put on for casual listening, but of immense historical value. (For more information, check out the Editio Princeps website...) (Note: Egidio Conde was formerly in the band Moto Perpetuo...)

Som Nosso De Cada Dia "Som Nosso" (Columbia, 1977)
(Produced by Tony Bizarro)

One of the best, most challenging, most satisfying of the classic Brazilian soul/funk albums... But that's only half the story! Apparently this album is a patchwork effort, made up of an earlier album (Amazonia) that was shelved by their old label, and new material (the funk stuff) that CBS thought would be more salable... After laying down some groovy, innovative, multi-textured funk, the Som Nosso band shift gears on the second side of the album and get into some spacy, noodly, occasionally shrill prog-rock... Like their funk music, though, the prog material is rather accomplished, and stands up quite well next to the krautrock or what-have-you that was going on elsewhere at the time. Only one track is outright irritating: "Agua Limpa" gets a little longwinded and facile, sounding less like Can and more like Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer... Otherwise, this disc is a real find for '70s-aholic music geeks. Definitely worth tracking down!

Som Nosso De Cada Dia "Ao Vivo No Aquarius" (Museo Do Disco, 20111976)
A live album, recorded in 1976 at the Teatro Aquarius, this went unreleased until 2011...

Sonantes "Sonantes" (Six Degrees, 2008)
A Brazilian pop/electronica album unlike any you've heard before, infused with the slinky, cross-cultural feel of international soundtrack music, tinged with rock, funk, blues and dub. Vocalist CeU resurfaces in the company of numerous pop innovators from Sao Paulo, notably members of Nacao Zumbi, Rica Amabis of the band Instituto and several guest performers such as Mestre Ambrosio's Siba, and electronic-popster Apollo Nove. CeU shines throughout, but particularly while riding atop the buoyant, ecstatic "Quilombo Te Espera," a song that leaps out at listeners midway through the album, and pulls them in with its radiant cheerfulness. Other standout tracks include the surf-flavored instrumental, "Looks Like To Kill," and "Defenestrando," a sly, slinky jazz-funk workout with a slithering guitar line worthy of the Talking Heads in their art-funk heyday. On "Miopia," CeU shares the limelight with Mestre Ambrosio's Siba, who contributes haunting vocals that evoke the arid feel of Brazil's northeastern provinces. The album darkens towards the end, particularly on the spooky, ethereal "Itapeva," but closes on a sleek, blith bit of retro-tropical pop, "Frevo De Saudade," which nonetheless has a kooky rhythmic undercurrent that again shows the skillful eclelcticism of this surprising ensemble. Highly recommended!

Suba "Sao Paulo Confessions" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2000)
Soft-soul electronica with wispy female vox. The mixer, Yugoslavian expatriate Mikar Subotic (aka Suba), died in an apartment fire in Brazil during the winter of '99, and this album is his recorded legacy. One wonders though, comparing the strength of the first few tracks with the album's somewhat formless second half, if all these tracks got all the attention they deserved before his untimely death. On the best vocal cuts, this seems like a logical '90s extension of the old Astrud Gilberto sound, with silken, synthetic sound beds in place of sax and strings. The instrumental numbers, on the other hand, tend to be a bit flat, as does a version of "A Felicidade" which somehow manages to denude the Jobim standard of its melody. Art rocker Arnaldo Antunes pitches in on one track, with his patented Beat Happening-croaky voice. Trip-hoppers may go for this more than I did, though I do think there are some lovely moments to be heard here.

Suba "Felicidade Remixes (EP)" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2000)
Remixes. Of "Felicidade."

Suba/Various Artists "Tributo" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2002)

Timbalada - see artist discography

Toni Tornado "B. R. 3" (Odeon, 1971)
Apparently this fellow was a television actor who briefly made the move into a music career, as a pioneer of the Black Rio soul scene. His debut on the Odeon label is nearly indistinguishable from similar hard-edged funk by Tim Maia, an uneasy, back-and-forth mix between the machinegun yelps and growls of James Brown and the softer crooning of the Philly crowd. Still, it's way better than wimpy material by Cassiano and his ilk. A slew of well-known jazz and soul musicians worked with Tornado on this album (each apparently recording with him on separate sessions), including Paulo Moura, Dom Salvador and Waltel Branco. Worth checking out if you're tracking down these old soul albums.

Toni Tornado "Toni Tornado" (Odeon, 1972)
Tornado's follow-up album is fairly dreadful, though, full of spasmodic, hyperactive arrangements which at their best sound like the disco-y work of Banda Black Rio, and at their worst are simply loud and unfocussed. Retro-funk fans will probably dig this album, but it lacks polish and doesn't really hold up.

Tony & Frankye "Tony & Frankye" (CBS, 1971)
A pretty groovy soul-funk album, featuring the short-lived duo of Tony Bizarro and Fortunato Arduini, who lay down as solid a set of '70s soul as any Brazilian act of the era. The first track kicks off with a direct lift of Sly Stone's "Thank You" (and I mean that as a compliment!) while other songs harken back to '60s artists such as Arthur Conley or Sam & Dave. A dash of psychedelic rock guitar comes in, with a Guess Who-ish hard rock feel. Unfortunately, the second half of the album succumbs to the tortured warbling vocal style favored by "Black Rio" artists such as Tim Maia and Cassiano -- I dunno why Brazilian soul singers liked that style, but they did: it doesn't age well. Overall, though, this is pretty cool, especially by Brazilian standards. Definitely an album worth tracking down! (Note: Obviously Bizarro went on to record solo stuff after this, but I'm not sure what became of Arduini - anyone have any info on him?)

Trio Mocoto - see artist discography

Trio Ternura "Trio Ternura" (CBS) (1971?)
(Produced by Raul Seixas)

A cool psychedelic soul-pop album, produced under the auspices of crazed, ne'er-do-well avant-rocker, Raul Seixas, who was just about ready to get kicked off the CBS label himself for greenlighting his own solo album without the label head's approval. Enough about him, though... This album has some great '60s pop twists, LA-style orchestral stuff, cannily blended with driving funk, similar to early Sly & The Family Stone. They later released an album under the name of Quinteto Ternura (see above). Retro fans pay heed: this is an album worth tracking down!

Uniao Black "Uniao Black" (RCA, 1977)
(Produced by Roberto Livi & Pedro Da Luz)

One of the handful of Braz-Soul bands that really deliver the goods. Plenty of great, bouncy, heavy bass lines, straight out of KC & The Sunshine Band, or the O'Jays, but with a seriously funky undercurrent. Unlike many of their disco-ed out contemporaries, these guys really "got" it... The album does lapse into funky-jam tedium after a powerful start, but the level of playing is still far above most of the Black Rio bands, sexier and less jarring or hyperactive than, say, Banda Black Rio. Recommended.

Uniao Black "Banda Uniao Black" (Commonfolk, 2005)

Veiga & Salazar "Original" (ST2/Trama, 2000)
Poppy, bouncy hip-hop from Sao Paulo, featuring sharp turntabulism, decent beats and live, funky saxophone. These guys have flow, although I admit I found my attention wandering midway through the album... Andres Salazar's sax work is a little weak in places; not bad, just not as soulful as it might have been, although his Spanish-language rapping easily matches Gustavo Veiga's Portuguese tounge-twisting toasting talents. Keep in mind, these kids are pretty young, and this is a pretty strong debut. Worth checking out if you're into the whole global hip-hop trip.

Veiga & Salazar "Os Bridoes De Ouro" (Atracao, 2003)

Veiga & Salazar "Ontem Ja Era" (ST2/Trama, 2004)

Veiga & Salazar "Original" (2007)

Noriel Vilela "Eis O Ome" (Copacabana, 1968)
(Produced by Ismael Correia; Arrangements by Maestro Carioca)

A strong, sweet, swinging set by deep-toned, deeply funky singer Noriel Vilela, who originally came from Nilo Amaro's band, Cantores De Ebanos, and is considered one of the core artists of the "samba rock" sound... Apparently this was his only full album before his premature death -- a pity, since he was really fun artist. If you like Wilson Simonal's perky early albums, then this one is a must-hear as well. Great, groovy arrangements -- this one really swings! The original album didn't include his best-known song, "16 Toneladas," the super-funky sambadelic remake of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" and neither did the 2002 or 2012 CD reissue: would have made a great bonus track. Oh well, maybe next time...

Zeca Do Trombone & Roberto Sax "Zeca Do Trombone & Roberto Sax" (Pirata, 1976) (LP)
A very sleek and sexy funk-jazz set from two of the best-known session players on the Brazilian '70s soul scene. Zeca do Trombone takes the lead vocals (frequently backed by a female chorus) and though he doesn't have a strong voice, he sounds pretty cool, make the most of his gravelly, old-man tone. The arrangements are brisk and light, but cheerful and compelling, too. If you're a fan of Tim Maia, Banda Black Rio or other artists of similar vintage, you'll want to check this album out: for my money, it's one of the best records in the genre.

Zeca Do Trombone "Roto Mar" (Timbre, 1980) (LP)
Honestly, he sounds a little long in the tooth here... The bland funk/soul arrangements sound kinda slack, and his vocals sound positively geriatric. Not sure what was going on, but it's certainly a big change in energy level and immediacy from his previous efforts just a few years earlier. Oh, well.

Zeca Do Trombone "Um Trombone Em Simonal" (Atracao, 2012)

Claudio Zoli - see artist discography

Zuco 103 "Outro Lado" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2000)
Zuco 103 "The Other Side EP" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2000)

A canny mix of Brazilian MPB, soul, and European trip-hop/dance styles. This Dutch ensemble features the sleek vocals of Brazilian expatriate, Lilian Veira... It took me a while to place the feel of her style, but finally it dawned on me: if Sade had spoken Portuguese, the result might have been much like this. This is a sugary, languid album, which should blow the minds of the soul-ier club kids, though those of a more traditional, less electronic bent may find their attention wandering after a while. The Other Side EP gets even clubbier and more house-y.

Zuco 103 "Tales Of High Fever" (Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees, 2002)
I liked Zuco's first album, but they lost me a little on this one. It's too disco-y, too retro for me to enjoy, and -- sadly -- Lilian Veira's vocals seem a bit too shrill. I think she's trying for a Chaka Khan soulfulness, but she's really just got a Gal Costa voice. Nonetheless, that's just my personal take on this album. I'm sure that anyone into clubbier, loungier, kitschier, hipper, more electronic lifestyle will find this album irresistible. It's a densely-layered, intricate pop mosaic, with a wider stylistic range than my description might imply. On the later tracks there are some cool numbers based on Afro-Brazilian percussion; there's also a noteworthy cover of Jorge Ben's "Bebete Vambora..." But in the long run, this just ain't my cup of tea.

Zuco 103 "One Down, One Up" (Crammed Disc/Six Degrees, 2003)

Zuco 103 "One Down" (EP) (Crammed Disc/Six Degrees, 2003)

Zuco 103 "One Up" (EP) (Crammed Disc/Six Degrees, 2003)

Zuco 103 "Whaa!" (Crammed Disc/Six Degrees, 2005)
Their best album so far, by far. A great, giddy modern Euro-Brazilian world-pop album, marking a quantum leap up from the band's first two albums from a few years back. On the opening track, "Na Magueira," singer Lilian Vieira bursts forth with an incandescent homage to the sprightly jazzy rhythm style of Elza Soares -- Vieira's version being draped in a contemporary techno-tinged sound mix... The band's roots in Europhilic dance music come back to the fore in a few of the house-ier tracks, but their explorations of African pop (on "Duele Le Le") and cameos by dub reggae legend Lee "Scratch" Perry make this album their richest, most resonant album to date. Nice stuff; as catchy as it is clever, and as propulsive as it is playful. Recommended.

Zuco 103 "After The Carnaval" (Six Degrees/Dox-Netherlands, 2008)
(Produced by Zuco 103)

Brazilian electro-pop from the Zuco crew, who have always been a bit on the clubby side, but had a strong grounding in contemporary Afro-Brazilian styles as well. They get super-technoed out on a few tracks, particularly the aggressively house-y, Euro-flavored "Beija A Mim," one of the first songs on the album, but then delve deeper into samba and soft-soul as the album goes on. Lead vocalist Lilian Vieira has a reedy, Sade-ish feel which hardens when she turns to more samba-flavored material; each of these styles will find their fans, as this is an album that offers a variety of tempos and tones. If you enjoyed their earlier albums, you'll want to check this out as well... Overall, it'll probably have the greatest appeal for the club-kids contingent, but Braziliophiles will dig it, too.

Brazilian Soul & Funk - Compilation Albums

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