About a year ago I had a couple of posts on Brazilian soul, but my friend Bruno Verbeek would have been right to complain that I was posting too much ‘old stuff’ again. Now, lest anyone should think that Brazilian soul is a thing of the past, here is a post to dispel the worry and introduce Ed Motta to the BMoF readership. It is fair to say that Ed Motta has been THE Brazilian soulman of the last decades. It all starts with the fact that he is the nephew of the Brazilian soulman of all times, Tim Maia; and indeed, when Ed Motta first appeared, he was systematically referred to as ‘Tim Maia’s nephew’. But this didn’t last, as it quickly became apparent that Ed Motta could stand his own ground.
His first album was with the band Conexao Japeri, in 1988; he was only 17 at the time. From this album, I’m posting below what is still possibly my favorite Ed Motta song of all, ‘Manuel’. It is almost impossible to believe he was only 17 at the time! (I won’t get into the details of how old I was…) Since then, in the 1990s and 2000s, Ed Motta continued to have a brilliant, productive career, initially mostly under the influence of American soul, but soon after with elements of Brazilian folk music and jazz as well. He has a powerful, velvet-like voice, and is also an accomplished multi-musician, able to play pretty much any instrument you can think of.
I’m also posting a live version of one of his biggest commercial hits, ‘Fora da lei’ (1997), and a song from his latest album, Piquenique (2009), a duo with singer Maria Rita (I should write a post on her too!): ‘A turma da pilantragem’, a tribute to the 1960s singer Wilson Simonal. Don’t get me wrong, I do like a lot Ed Motta’s more recent work, but I must say that, for me, ‘Manuel’ is still the best… (A little plug also for Ed Motta's duet with Marisa Monte, 'Ainda lembro', of her 1991 album Mais; love this one too!)