Banda Black Rio – 1977 – Maria Fumaça
Banda Black Rio were formed in 1976 in Rio de Janeiro.
They revolutionised ‘black instrumental music’ at the time with their Brazilian re-interpretation of soul, jazz, funk and disco grooves, inspired by the likes of Tim Maia and reminiscent of Kool & The Gang and Earth Wind & Fire during their most on-point period of the 1970’s. ‘Maria Fumaca’ is the groups first album, originally released by Atlantic in 1977; a record that bought the group worldwide fame.
‘Maria Fumaca’ is one of the strongest Brazilian samba-disco-funk-soul-fusion albums of all time. Essential!!!
A1 Maria Fumaça 2:22
A2 Na Baixa Do Sapateiro 3:02
A3 Mr. Funky Samba 3:36
A4 Caminho Da Roça 2:57
A5 Metalúrgica 2:30
B1 Baião 3:26
B2 Casa Forte 2:22
B3 Leblon Via Vaz Lôbo 3:02
B4 Urubu Malandro 2:28
B5 Junia 3:39
Review by yofriend
Genuine instrumental Funk – from Brazil? Like the instrumental tracks by Tower of Power or by Average White Band – no way?
Wrong. On their debut record, Banda Black Rio, who are from Rio de Janeiro as their name indicates, have everything needed to pull off a funky dance party: a bass that kicks in the butt, a razor-sharp brass section who deliver the riffs, funky rhythm guitars, jazzy chords from the Fender Rhodes e-piano, and a drummer who provides the solid foundation. Topnotch virtuosity, topnotch arrangements.
The give-away that they’re possibly from Brazil comes from the choice of songs – some of them are well-known Brazilian classics in Funk disguise – but those who don’t know that won’t even notice it. And the other hint comes from the percussion which occasionally adds those complex Brazilian rhythms. On the other hand, Earth, Wind & Fire employed the Brazilian master percussionist Paulinho da Costa to add that Brazilian flavor to their music. Banda Black Rio’s music never sounds like an acquired taste. There are indeed cultural connections between the Black music from the USA and from Brazil.
Top tracks include “Caminho da Roça“, “Casa Forte“, and the title track.
Their follow up releases are just as strong even if they head in more of a commercial direction (check out the Earth, Wind, and Fire inspired “Miss Cheryl”).