Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mestre Cupijó e Seu Ritmo: Siriá [Analog Africa, 2014]
Siriá is a couple-dancing hybrid in which the escaped maroons of equatorial Brazil adapted Amazonian rhythms to their own carnivalesque purposes. Punchy rather than flowing, it often generates the polka hop hinted at in chicha, ska, and occasionally cumbia. Now 80, alto sax specialist Cupijó is a second-generation multi-instrumentalist from the river town of Cametá who as a young man traveled further inland to learn and modernize the music of more remote settlements. Long a local fixture, he eventually had some hits with it, all of them collected here. If you know the above-mentioned styles you'll hear their echoes and also something new, playful, and unprecedented in Cupijó's rough, enthusiastic amalgam. What you won't hear is the samba, bossa nova, or tropicalia of the coast. Well, maybe some primal Tom Zé. Zé has never forgotten his inland roots. A-