Curumin | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International | Chicago Reader

Curumin Recommended All Ages Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Jan. 28, 8:30 p.m. 2009

On his 2006 debut album, Achados e Perdidos, Sao Paulo’s Luciano Nakata Albuquerque, aka Curumin, found such a perfect sweet spot between Jorge Ben and Stevie Wonder that I was initally put off by the stylistic sprawl of his recent Japan Pop Show (Quannum Projects). But though the propulsive rhythms that provide the music’s connective tissue on the new record are much more varied—jacked-up samba, funk carioca, hip-hop—its melodic heart still comes from the sensual, easygoing samba soul of Ben and Tim Maia. “Compacto” is pure Ben, the slinky melody filling the gaps in the syncopated groove. “Magrela Fever” is a bit of brega—a form of low-brow, sentimental Brazilian pop balladry—incongruously charged with frenetic drumming and the psychedelic guitar of Cidadao Instigado’s Fernando Catatau, and “Caixa Preta” is a blast of nonstupid funk carioca with fierce rhymes by rapper Bnegao. “Kyoto” is swaggering hip-hop with verses from Bay Area MCs Gift of Gab and Lateef the Truthspeaker, and “Dancando No Escuro” threads singing by samba-soul vet Marku Ribas through murky subterranean dub-pop. As good as he is, I think Curumin is still sorting out his talents—but at least he’s having fun doing it. —Peter Margasak

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