Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Roots of Samba: Zeca Pagodinho and Dudu Nobre

Following my blog's purpose, which is the featuring of virtuosic drumming from around the world (and, preferably performed by my own friends!), I’ve lately been giving priority to samba jams. Here’s one that features two of the genre’s most popular contemporary masters, Dudu Nobre and Zeca Pagodinho, performing together at a National Samba Day celebration party, this year in honor of singer Beth Carvalho’s 40-year career commemoration. The music and video production was directed by Brazil’s stellar producer, Daniel Figueiredo, owner of the Music Solution Studio, in Rio de Janeiro.

The song is titled, “Quem É Ela”, and was written by both of the performers, Zeca and Dudu. Check out, however, the cats on the pagode drums, as they lay down this thick, sweaty, badass, funky accompaniment to the singers and melody players! These cats are putting muscle into a traditional poly-rhythmic samba stew, with sophisticated technique that actually surpasses the need for amplification. They are playing just as if they were hanging on the corner of their favorite neighborhood botiquin on an animated Sunday afternoon!

Towards the end of the song, Zeca snaps on colleague Almir Guineto, who rises to the challenge (literally!) and responds with an improvisation of his own – something totally spontaneous and unplanned! Dudu Nobre, sensing from his ample experience that the situation is about to veer off into uncharted territory, raises his arm to direct the song’s finale, just as Almir is calling on another sambista to rise up and get into the developing call-and-response singer duel. As such, the song ends on a good note and organically flows into another jam….soon to be featured here, as well!

Enjoy... then, get up and get your drums out!