GLORIOSO SANTO ANTONIO by Antônio Carlos & Jocafi.
If I had to do it all over again, I'd grow up in Brazil and know everything there is to know about samba school or bossa nova or baile funk or MPB or forró or what have you. Alas, things didn't turn out that way. So with our Brazilian selections we can offer enthusiasm but not much expertise—we'll tread lightly.
"Treading lightly" is a good metaphor for what Glorioso Santo Antonio is doing. The song manages to incorporate a bunch of instrumentalists, a half dozen backup singers, a typical Brazilian afro-funk beat. Oh, and a Gregorian chant. But it's not some turgid sade donne moi thing—Glorioso Santo Antonio is lighter than air. Don't play it once unless you're prepared to play it four times running.
Glorioso Santo Antonio is from Antônio Carlos and Jocafi's self-titled third album, released in 1973. Records like this one made them "mega stars" at home. If I had to do it all over again, I'd grow up in Brazil...
(Note: Some of you may have trouble downloading this if you try to open it in Windows Media Player. Use Realplayer, Quicktime, or iTunes instead, if you can.)
Photo: Marrakech, 2005.