This song is on one of Jorge Bens best records: O Bidu (Silencio No Brooklin) from 1967. This Brooklin is a district in the city of São Paulo, not New Yorks neighbourhood. In this period of his career Jorge Ben had moved from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo. He was the first to use the electric guitar in samba. His previous records were all recorded with a acoustic guitar and had a more classical Bossa Nova and Samba sound. "Si manda" is a great up-tempo Samba Rock track with a powerful beat and electric rhythm guitar. This record and this song in particluar must have had a big influence on the Tropicalia movement and a band like Os Mutantes.
This Samba Rock tune is written by Jorge Ben. He is really one of the under estimated musicians in the West. Probably because the fact that all of his songs are in Portuguese. He has made and written such good music and was on the footing of Samba Rock, Tropicalia and MPB. Right now one of his songs is a big hit again by Sergio Mendes "Más que nada". This track "a minha menina" will drive you wild because of the fuzz guitar, percussion and again: handclapping. That's also why I like this version by Os Mutantes better then the original by Jorge Ben.
Singer Gal Costa was born in Salvador (Bahia state). Together with other musicians from Bahia: Caetano Veloso, his sister Maria Bethânia, Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé, she moved to São Paulo in 1964. There she bacame one of the most important members of de Tropicalia movement. I consider “Tuareg” as her best song.
Pois ele é sentimental
Humano, é nobre é mouro
Pois ele é guerreiro
Ele é bandoleiro
Ele é justiceiro
Ele é mandingueiro
Ele é um tuareg
“Tuareg” is from an era in which the attitude towards Muslims was a lot more positive then these days. The song is written by Jorge Ben and a fruitful mixture between Brazilian and Arabic music. I love the sound of the ud (the classical Arabic lute) and ghaita (or oboe: a double reed instrument) which Ben put together with an organ, a bass and a groovy rhythm. The song reminds me of Yusef Lateefs version of “Brazil”, Ary Barbosa’s hit. This jazz musician was also exploring and fusing musical cultures, and often used instruments of the Eastern world.