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Jorge Ben Jor is a Brazilian popular musician, born in Rio de Janeiro on March 22, 1942 (some sources say 1940). His characteristic style fuses samba, funk, and rock into samba-rock, with lyrics that blend humor and satire with often esoteric subject matter.
While he is probably best known as the composer of the Sergio Mendes hit "Mas Que Nada", his song "Taj Mahal" is recognizable (and was legally recognized in a plagiarism lawsuit) as the source of the melody in Rod Stewart's hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" The album it was on, Tropical, was a 1977 attempt to add soul and disco to his sound; after that he reverted to more familiar ways.
Some of his other hits include "Umbabarauma" (a song about one of his favorite subjects, soccer), "País Tropical", "Chove Chuva", and "W/Brasil".
Born Jorge Duilio Lima Meneses, he initally took the stage name Jorge Ben after his mother's name, but changed it in 1988 to Jorge Ben Jor (also commonly written Benjor), allegedly in response to an incident where some of his royalties had accidentally gone to guitarist George Benson. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Ben_Jor [Jun 2005]
Of all Brazilian musicians who came to prominence in the 1960's, Jorge Ben has always seemed to be the one to whom music-making came easiest. Feted by the Bossa crowd, the Tropicalia crowd and even the rock musicians of the Jovem Guarda, Ben has always stood outside all those movements while being able to move freely between all of them.
His masterpiece, Africa Brasil (1976) takes on Fela Kuti and James Brown and (more so than Caetano's and Gil's efforts) successfully synthesises them with samba into something uniquely Brazilian. -- http://www.furious.com/perfect/jorgeben.html
- I Love Music
- http://www.benjor.com.br/ Jorge Ben Jor's official site
- Jorge Ben - Africa Brasil: Colecao Samba Soul [1 CD, Amazon US]
In a word -- WOW. Probably the best funk album ever recorded in Brazil, and certainly one of the best Brazilian pop albums as well. Features the often -anthologized "Umbabarauma" and the super-funky "Xica da Silva," along with a whole slew of other great tracks, such as the James Brown/Sly Stone inspired "Hermes Trismegisto Escriveu" and other groove-heavy wonders. A couple of songs are too shrill -- less disco flirtations than just plain old pop-funk gone jittery. One such track is an unfortunate remake of "Taj Mahal," the song from which Rod Stewart swiped the melody to "If You Think I'm Sexy"... Nevertheless, this is a masterpiece, one of the best Brazilian albums of the '70s. Absolutely essential, required listening. -- Joe Sixpack for Amazon.com [...]
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