Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dance Moves: Little Black Samba

Grover Washington Samba

Grover Washington, Jr.: Little Black Samba


I have a handful of songs on my hard drive that I'm just waiting for the right theme to match, and this is one of them. I could have chosen among 66 other songs I've got with the word "Samba" in the title, but one look and I knew this would be the one. Its rhythm is so infectious and compelling that I'm having a hard time sitting still long enough to write this entry.

In 1980 when Come Morning was released, the saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., was at the peak of his popularity and was a key artist in the explosion of smooth jazz, a genre of jazz blended with funk, R&B, and pop. This song in particular celebrates the heavy African influence in Brazilian music in both lyrics (sung by the drummer Grady Tate) and rhythm (ably assisted by Eric Gale, guitar; Ralph MacDonald, percussion, and Steve Gadd, drums).

I like its cleverly punned title, too.

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