Blog March 19, 2020
Quarantunes: Jorge Ben Jor on Brazilian TV in 1972

We may be bound to our homes, but with the magic of YouTube, we aren't bound by time! For today's Quarantune, let's dial it all the way back to the early '70s for a concert from Jorge Ben, one of the funkiest, most endearing MPB songwriters from Brazil.

Let's set the scene for this broadcast: Brazil is under a military dictatorship that came to power via a coup in 1964. Música popular brasileira is on the rise. Jorge Ben Jor (then going by just Jorge Ben) came onto the scene in the early '60s with innovative, poppy post-bossa nova tunes, but he's in the heat of the era that would make him a legend: a potent fusion of samba, rock and funk.

I gotta say, I love these songs in their nimble four-piece arrangements. Some of the studio versions of these tunes are smothered in big syrupy strings, but it's cool to hear Jorge's guitar's interplay with the percussion section.

If you want to hear more about Jorge Ben Jor, we have a whole Hip Deep episode devoted to the man and he has a ton of music available on streaming services. While there are highs and lows according to your taste, it's all very good.

There's a lot of these MPB specials from the early '70s available on YouTube, and I'd happily just post one after another, but I'm going to try to keep coming up with a variety of Quarantunes.

How's everyone holding up out there? If you've watched a concert that brought you sanity or cheer during this bizarre era, we'd love to hear or see it; hit up ben@afropop.org with any suggestions. Keep your social distance, but keep being social. Wash those hands!

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