Those of us who listen to music constantly, particularly jazz, wait for the next burst of creativity that further defines the music. Jazz has been influenced by so many genres, including the African diaspora, Latin music and now every other form of music. It leads to the question: “Is this jazz?”
Enter Maga Bo and his new album Amor (É Revolução), which recently stopped me in my tracks one morning while listening to WPKN radio. Maga Bo is an American-born music producer who has spent many years living in Brazil and mixing indigenous Brazilian roots music with 21st Century production and an amalgamation of various music forms. I hear jazz, you might not.
I recently listened to a 1978 live concert with Jan Gabarek, Ralph Towner, John Abercombie and Nana Vasconcelos, a master of the berimbau. It is a reminder of the beauty of Brazilian music and the ancient sound that the berimbau offers. All of this beautiful, historic music is present in Maga Bo’s work but it is not only a time-traveling experience; he brings modern technology to lift up traditional Brazilian music. His new album conjures a mix of jazz, strings, booming drumheads and vocal melodies mixed with indigenous music – capoeira, coco, samba, maculele and other rootsy Brazilian genres.
On Amor (É Revolução), his music is channeled in a glorious salute to Brazil, conjuring earth and spirit. In this space he joins colleagues he has previously worked with - Russo Passapusso and Roberto Barreto from BaianaSystem (Salvador), singer Rosângela Macedo (São Paulo) and rapper Bnegão from Planet Hemp (Rio De Janeiro).
The album’s title translates to "Love (Is Revolution)" which is poetically lovely and perhaps wishful thinking in the world we live in now.
That said, this is a beautiful album that is both refreshing in concept and lovely in its historic elements. Even those of us who inch into heavily produced music gingerly will be guided into its environment gladly.
Find the artist online.