Review: The work of Northern Brazilian musician-turned-bandleader Mestre Cupijo has long fascinated record collectors. Much of the allure can be attributed to Cupijo's trademark sound, which fused African-influenced Brazilian dance music and traditional Amazonian rhythms with sounds from Colombia (notably cumbia), Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The results, as showcased on six albums during the 1970s, were exciting and enthralling; a cross-pollination of sounds heavy on jaunty horns, shuffling rhythms and celebratory vocals. Here, Analog Africa presents the first in-depth retrospective of Mestre's work, hand-picking the finest tracks from his six obscure 1970s albums and offering them up in remastered form. For anyone interested in either African or Brazilian music, it should be an essential purchase.
Review: Unusually, Duke Pearson spent his entire career releasing music on just one label: the legendary Blue Note imprint. Although he passed away in 1980 after a long battle with multiple sclerosis, his final album was actually released in 1996. It's this posthumous set - made up entirely of rediscovered recordings made between 1968 and '70 - that here gets the deluxe reissue treatment. It remains a superb set, with Pearson flitting between bluesy soul-jazz, bossa-nova-tinged Latin jazz breeziness, groovy post-bop workouts, samba-soaked soundscapes and breathtaking beautiful cinematic jazz (see the inspired "Theme From Rosemary's Baby"). This expanded edition not only includes previously CD-only tracks, but also an unheard gem: the melancholic, Vibraphone and flute-laden lament, "Dialogo".