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Another whatmusic.com exclusive vinyl re-issue!

Whatmusic.com presents The Sound of Black Rio, from veteran samba soul singer & percussionist Dom Mita. This new all-star album dedicated to soul legend Tim Maia stays true to the Black Rio sound that funked up Brasil in the 70s!

  • First ever worldwide release!
  • Featuring guests Carlos Dafé, Lincoln Olivetti & members of Banda Black Rio & Os Devaneios
  • Includes funky cuts Menininha do Corôa, De Alegria Raiou o Dia & O Som do Tim
  • Produced by the legendary Durval Ferreira (Cannonball Adderley/Orlandivo/Ed Lincoln)
  • Exclusive liner notes by Dom Mita

Check the 30 second clips from the album...

The whatmusic.com interview...

I was born in Bauru, a city in the interior of São Paulo. Not only was my grandfather a musician, a violeiro, a repentista from Minas Gerais and the son of Africans, but my father was a sanfoneiro - an accordionist. When I was nine years old I went to a school run by monks where I studied orfeonic song and became the lead chorister, until I was thirteen when I moved to Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio I went to live in the Morro de São João in Engenho Novo. There you'd hear samba all night, every night, and this got me into playing some percussion instruments, as well as singing. I was greatly influenced by samba and the 'balanço' of the samba that was so different.

I really became a percussionist through necessity because of the lack of work as a singer. I started out playing pandeiro and then moved onto the drums, playing every kind of music - samba, bolero, jazz, mambo, cha cha cha.

I began writing songs in 1962 pretty much at the insistence of another songwriter, Roberto Correa, from the vocal group Os Golden Boys. I was 22 years old at the time.

In the late 50s and early 60s in Copacabana the big thing was the jam sessions. Anybody and everybody who was interested in playing and growing musically just had to be there. Of course, that went for me, too. Round about that time I met Edison Machado, the drummer who created the 'samba no prato' [cymbal samba]. Up until that time kit drum samba had been played exclusively with brushes on the snare and the tom-toms.

I moved in with Edison and there I learned so much about everything and I met various musicians who soon became friends: Luiz Eça (Tamba Trio pianist), Juarez (sax), Cipó (Sax), Raul de Souza (trombone), José Bodega (sax), Formiga (trumpet), Helcio Milito (Tamba Trio drummer), Durval Ferreira (guitarist - composer) and many others.

I met Tim Maia in 1966 at a night club in São Paulo called the Cave. I was booked into Michel, a rival club, as a drummer and what we used to call 'crooner'. I fell in love with Tim's voice and I thought that this kind of sound was exactly what I wanted to hear. We became friends and met up again two years later when he moved to Rio. He was looking to get signed by a record company, as I was too, so we worked together trying to get something to happen for us right up until 1970, when Tim finally got signed by Polydor and then his career really took off. By this time I was listening to a lot of James Brown, Wilson Pickett, but also to Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, these kind of people.

The style of music that people like Cassiano, Tim Maia, Paulo Diniz, Gerson Combo and I were playing was exactly the kind of sound that the guys from the suburbs were into. They were into it then and they always will be, because in my opinion it's that balance between the old and the new, an exceptional mix of jazz and of Musica Popular Brasileira. The proof of this is that my record has fans both young and old.

Despite our friendship, I never travelled with Tim when he went to Europe or the States. Tim and I used to argue all the time, and so, after a few years, we'd only get together two or three times a month, and despite the fact that I had a record out [Decca France 1967], I never really wanted to travel that much.

In 1973 Tim Maia recorded his first cover of one my songs 'A Paz no Meu Mundo Você' - for which I wrote both words and music. I also played percussion on the record. Tim and I fell out over the publishing of the work and I never showed him anymore of my songs until 1989, when things were going well for me, and so I gave him the song 'Cabeça Feita' to record and with that we both won the prestigious Sharp Award for Best Song in 1990 - subsequently we composed 'Te Amo e Muito Mais', that Tim then also recorded.

Each gig that I do, I always have my band Mitamofoz, that features Luiz Carlos - drums (ex Banda Black Rio), Dum Dum - trumpet (ex Os Devaneios), Bira - trombone, Josimar - sax, along with other exceptional players. Also, whenever I can get them along, I love to have some legendary guests like Lincoln Olivetti adding to the mood.

I think the release of this record in the rest of the world is a recognition of me and my talent as an artist - something which hasn't always happened in my own country!

Dom Mita ­ June 2001
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