Saturday, June 12, 2010

International Funk!

No, this blog post isn't about the current depressing worldwide environmental or economic situation we're in! It's about late 60's-early 70's music that kicks some serious ass from some pretty exotic places!

Let's ease into it with something from Brasil. Gal Costa is a singer who was part of the Tropicalia movement circa '68 which featured people like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Here's a funky song from the "Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis" album that is pretty much the Tropicalia manifesto:

(She's easy on the eye too...)

Let's now move on to a different continent. Broken Flowers was a movie that introduced many of us to the fantastic charms of 70's Ethiopean Jazz, the kind featured on the Ethiopique label. Mulatu Astatke is probably the figurehead of that musical movement. If you haven't seen the movie (shame on you!), or want to hear what I'm talking about, here's a good one that was featured on that movie soundtrack and should work as a good starting point:

And now to a destination that is just as surprising, as far as funky or fusion arrangements are concerned: Iran. Kourosh Yaghmaei was a pop singer from the 70's who had a hit, Gole Yakh, that even crossed borders at the time. But the song I'm posting here was one I didn't know before and that was featured on the excellent Funk Archaeology series by Egon on NPR Music's web site, specifically the show dedicated to Persian Funk:

That moustache alone made it worth posting it, didn't it?