Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nem um dia

I’ve found this little CD store in Miami, underneath Marshall’s. On first glance it’s rather unimpressive – Marvin Gaye is filed into their jazz section, for instance, and their hip-hop section has precious little Blackalicious, The Roots, or anything other than the modern radio-ready pap. Venture into their Latin section, though (categorized by style and/or location) and many gems turn up. So far I have purchased Bebo Valdes’ Bebo de Cuba, his two-disc “masterwork” (a full big band suite and a three-horn & rhythm blowing session); Jorge Ben Jor’s MTV Acoustica DVD; and Djavan Ao Vivo on DVD as well. The Valdes disc is in heavy rotation now, and the Ben Jor DVD is fantastic, but I was most impressed by the Djavan DVD.

Kerry Politzer recommended Djavan to me when we were both at Banff last summer. When I got back to Montreal, I went on a search that led me to his first two records, Djavan and Alumbramento. (The general consensus on his music is that those two records are his apotheosis, and it’s all downhill from there.) The DVD focuses on his more recent work, though there are songs from that period as well. While I wouldn’t necessarily say Djavan’s music has gone on a downwards trajectory, the music has become simpler as he’s aged, and as one critic said, has fused Brazilian music with pop and hip-hop more than his earlier records which reflected the jazz and funk influence. One could draw a parallel with Sting’s development (compare Dream of the Blue Turtles with Sacred Love). The DVD was filmed in 2002 in a sold out stadium in Rio, and the audience is singing along with his melodies, which are catchy but not necessarily simple or repetitive. His forms are often unconventional by American pop standards, but the audience knows them like the back of their hands. Djavan lets the band stretch out, much like the space Sting gives to Branford Marsalis or Chris Botti, and they are warmly received. This further strengthens my intrigue into the Latin/Brazilian attitude and response towards music, especially as compared to the North American relationships with the art.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


can you provide more details about the location of the store?


Ryshpan said...

Jeez. It's been a year, this is really a test of my Miami geography.

According to Google Maps, it's at 255 E Flagler Street, between 1st and 2nd Ave. It's in the mall part underneath Marshall's, and it's closer to the Flagler St. entrance.