Brazil Classics 5: The Hips Of Tradition The Return of Tom Ze on LP + Download
Reissued in Celebration of Luaka Bop's 25th Anniversary
Originally issued on Luaka Bop in 1992, this was Tom Ze's first newly recorded album after being 'rediscovered' by David Byrne and it's as surprising and special as one would expect from this iconoclast. Tom Zé's original title for this album was Ancas, the Portuguese word for hips. "Hips" is hip here because of the immediate association with movement of the body - dance - even if the music might seem more heady than anything else.
But there's more to this anca business. The word may have come to Portuguese through Provençal, the language of the medieval troubadors who enchanted ladies and admirers with the fine art of song. And what better way to think of Tom Zé than as a (post -) modern troubador of the electronic age, inventing and blending words and sound.
In the 1970's, Tom Zé recorded on a label called Continental, whose beyond-Brazil overtones become even more relevant in listening to this outside urban outbacker who tosses some needed perplexity into the ring of Brazilian music. Zé was a studied poet of song in the 70's; he experimented with decomposition, groaned satires and pursued "serious" metaphor-laden material.
No reason to believe any of that has changed. Here you can hear the against-the-grain "Suffer From Youth," and sense the surprise without knowing the native language. Tom Zé makes it strange for Brazilians, too. His colorful, oddball, offbeat words simply make you wonder. And even the noise is nice where polyvalent play-polyrhythms, polyphony and polysemic approaches to performance - abounds. These bits and pieces, compositions, songs and soundings probe tradition, diction, arrangement and derangement. Settle in to be unsettled, again.
"Tom Ze is one of Brazil's most idiosyncratic performers, a pop inventor who bypasses the ordinary." - The New York Times
Brazil Classics 5 - The Hips Of Tradition The Return of Tom Ze Track Listing:
1. Ogodo, Ano 2000
2. Sem A Letra 'A'
3. Feira De Santana
4. Sofro De Juventude
5. Cortina 1
9. O Amor E Velho-Menina
10. Cortina 2
12. Jingle Do Disco
14. Cortina 3
15. Multiplicar-Se Unica
16. Cortina 4
17. O Pao Nosso De Cada Mes