The world’s attention will soon be on Brazil for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The last time there was a global sporting event in Brazil, the 2014 World Cup, a little mix I had fortuitously just finished, called Lincoln Olivetti: Brazilian Boogie Boss 1978–1984
, managed to get swept up in that summer’s Brazilianity. I couldn’t believe it at first as my mix was reposted, tweeted and recommended left and right. I knew the music was good, but 86k listens-and-counting-good? Clearly, the quality of Lincoln’s work overpowered my poor mixing skills and nerdy song selection criteria. The mix took on a life of its own thanks to tweets from a KCRW DJ, a glowing review on the Afropop website and repeated listens for the past two years. Last week averaged seventy listens a day.
Then something really sad happened. Last January 15, Lincoln Olivetti passed away
. I was of course touched and humbled to hear from Kassin, who knew Lincoln well in his final years, that “the mixtape
you did made him really, really happy. Like, we were crying here when we listened. He was so emotional about it to be recognized outside [Brazil]. It was really, really meaningful to him.” As a music lover, the fact that Lincoln listened, approved and was touched by the mix is far more important than the total number of listens, but I’m sure part of what touched Lincoln was seeing just how many people were listening to his work. Just because he’s gone, I haven’t stopped listening to and digging for his slow-jams, instrumental jams, AOR jams, or any kinda jams. The man was so deep and he covered so many genres with many of his productions reaching the top of the Brazilian charts during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
I wanna relay an anecdote I heard recently from legendary Brazilian lyricist Tibério Gaspar, though I couldn’t find reference to it in an exhaustive five-minute Google search, and therefore cannot guarantee its factuality, but it has sufficient truthiness so I’ll proceed: Creed Taylor, the legendary jazz producer and studio owner, was in Brazil and was asked how he does what he does, how he’s so good? His response was something like, “I can only take credit for so much, I have a great team with talented people, like my engineer, who’s the best and my mastering guy, I have at least seven people. You know who’s impressive? Your guy Lincoln Olivetti, he does it all extremely well while also writing songs and playing in the band!” For those less familiar with Brazil’s funkier side, let it be made clear that there are countless mixes to be made or already in existence with phenomenal funk, disco and boogie sounds from Brazil that have absolutely nothing to do with Lincoln Olivetti and his steady partner Robson Jorge. However, Lincoln and Robson were so prolific, it’s like comparing their output to the collective works of Quincy Jones, Steve Arrington, Maurice White, and David Foster.
With the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics looming it’s the perfect time to head back down to Brazil, musically. I decided to make a new mix to share some more songs that Lincoln graced. The first mix was certainly not exhaustive of his catalog, far from it. Of course I had some superb leftovers that didn’t make the last mix set aside in a playlist: “Lincoln Leftovers.” I started to go through my records again, do some internet sleuthing, and asked some friends for input, namely Brazilian Boogie Professor Júnior Santos, the man responsible for the killer compilation Brazilian Disco Boogie Sounds 1978–1982. By the time I got ready to cull my collected tracks and formulate a mix, it was clear there were enough first rate tracks to make two mixes spanning pop, soul, funk, AOR, disco, boogie, and samba styles. Rather than flood the market with more mixes than it can appreciate, I whittled down my selections to those with the strongest disco and AOR tendencies, all songs that need to be heard by Lincoln lovers.
- Allen Thayer
Etiquetas: Brazil, eng, Lincoln Olivetti, Music