Music is human. And here, King of Bongo will show you the best music available on the internet. What you will find: a vibrant source of sounds and vibes, grooves and noise, some you will never have heard before. Are you ready to go on the journey?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Upa Neguinho - World's 2nd most-covered Bossa Nova song?

Edu LoboCredited by some with "waking up" Bossa Nova - that is, taking it off the beach and looking instead at the streets, Edu Lobo is one of Brazil's finest musicians. Marrying a vast knowledge of Brazilian popular music to the undoubted boom for bossa, he came up with some choice grooves, in contrast to some of the more workmanlike efforts by his countrymen and others (step forward Mr Schifrin...)

Concentrating on unfashionable (for the time) themes such as the northeastern peoples, the blacks, the Indians, and the disowned, Lobo offered another vision of Brazil - and a less optimistic one than presented by the Girl from Ipanema.

And, one one choice cut, "Upa, Neguinho" - variously translated as "Pretty Black One" or "Pretty Blackie" - Edu secured his fame. Written with Gianfrancesco Guarnier and covered by everyone and their dog, this song - one of King of Bongo's personal faves - carries you along on a wild wave of sound, opening a rich seam of music that many more were to mine and add their own polish to. KoB couldn't decide which version to post today, so as a special treat, here's 5 versions. See which one you like best!

Edu Lobo: Upa, Neguinho [mp3 | 2:17 mins | 3.15 MB | Buy from Amazon]
The (almost) original (recorded 1966) - more percussion-based than later takes, but possessed with an energy that makes it the version that KoB goes back to again and again.

Luiz Arruda Paez: Upa, Neguinho [mp3 | 2:36 mins | 3.58 MB | Buy from Amazon]
Collected on Blue Note's Blue Brazil comp, the biggest of big band versions of Upa, Neguinho. Vocal-free, which doesn't detract from the track one bit, and obviously influenced by all those Hollywood musicals and mambo parties... A killer, surprisingly recorded as early as '66.

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66: Upa, Neguinho [mp3 | 2:56 mins | 4.07 MB | Buy from Amazon]
Sergio and his troupe present a typical Brasil '66 take of the song - along with Lani Hall's lush vocals (apparently sung parrot-fashion as she didn't speak Portuguese at the time) and Dave Grusin-orchestration. This was Brasil '66's biggest album, recorded 1968. Smooth cocktail-time, people!

Duke Pearson: Upa, Neguinho [mp3 | 2:00 mins | 2.75 MB | Buy from Amazon]
The wild card, jazzist Duke Pearson dipped into Latin-grooves as his career progressed - with patchy results. But, this version is a scorching slice of Jazz dance - keep still to this, and you must be dead, man, dead.

Nelsinho e sua Orquestra: Upa, Neguinho [mp3 | 2:25 mins | 3.34 MB | Buy from Amazon]
Another Blue Brazil cut, the mysterious Nelsinho gives with a brass-based version, but great piano and authentic bossa-guitar make it a winner. Halfway through the track vocals add an extra dimension. 1968 was the date.

File under: Bossa Cover Madness

Hey people - if you like King of Bongo, why not leave a comment? Until next time!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merci pour ton blog, j'ai l'honneur de visiter mon blog du groupe " UPA DANCE " :


4:13 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home