Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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João Selva: Navegar (Underdog Records)

Selva 1



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UK release date 09.04.2021

João Selva may be the incarnation of what Dusty Springfield sang about all the years ago as indeed, he is the son of a preacher man. Championed by Gilles Peterson and tastemakers alike, things are on the up for this enterprising artist who is now based in Lyon

It's a joyful, upbeat and fresh sounding album that really cuts the mustard with its effective grooves and lilting Brazilian melodies. Don't get me wrong I love Samba, Bossa and Latin but when it's given a funkier edge my ears prick up. Here JS has cleverly melded styles much in the way Manu Chao did years ago and the results are rather spectacular. It features some stellar artists such as Flavia Coelho and the multi-instrumentalist producer Patchworks (Voilaaa, The Dynamics, David Walters, Mr President, Taggy Matcher).

Personally, my fave track is "Meu Mundo", (followed closely by "Tudo Vai Dar Pe") it grooves hard and has a touch of the Specials merged with Jonny Guitar Watson - work that one out!? There's some slinky as hell guitar playing on "Devager", which harks-back to the days of Studio 54. This production is warm sounding too.

This album is a strong effort, showcasing a knack for creating dynamic, vibrant and memorable music which will carry us out of lockdown and onto greater things.

There's a glorious simplicity on show, which many artists will find too complex to achieve. I guess this guy has the 'funk zen' -both Joyous and uplifting - just the tonic for these strange times.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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