segunda-feira, abril 25, 2005

vários artistas - Mojo presents Southern Soul



Quem disser que os CDs oferecidos com revistas de música servem para empilhar a um canto ou vender numa loja de usados é porque não ouviu a colectânea Southern Soul que acompanha a Mojo de Maio – é um vício e pôs-me a pensar que a Soul e o Rhythm & Blues têm estado um bocadinho ausentes da Rosa dos Sons. Para compensar o facto lembrei-me de destacar este CD e recordar que a Southern Soul estará sempre associada à histórica Stax, de Memphis, responsável com a Motown pela época dourada da música Soul e que combinava três elementos cruciais: vocalistas negros educados no fervor do gospel (OTIS REDDING, SAM & DAVE, CARLA THOMAS), bandas de rhythm’n’blues inter-raciais (BOOKER T & THE MG’s, MUSCLE SHOALS) e produtores e compositores visionários (CHIPS MOMAN, BILLY SHERRILL, SPOONER OLDHAM, ISAAC HAYES). A contextualização e descrição eloquente da música é feita por Phil Alexander, editor da revista, num pequeno texto que acompanha o CD e que vou deixar por aqui :

You can hear it in the fat, greasy horn parts that introduce Etta James' scorching opener Tell Mama. Then there's the tough rhythms, the wailing vocal and that dirty, funky groove. It's that sound. The sound of the South.

Etta was born in Los Angeles and released Tell Mama for the Cadet label (a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Chess), but the track itself is characterised by the fact that it was recorded at Rick Hall's Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It's the sound of that band, that studio, that fire, which frames James' gritty vocal power so darn perfectly.

Indeed, all 15 tracks collected on this compilation are designed to show just how the South has shaped soul music as a whole.

Certainly the sound of Southern Soul is different from that of, say, Detroit or Philadelphia. At its most addictive in the '60s Motown's sound boasts a pop sheen while Philly added a dash of smooth sophistication to the genre hit the pre-disco 70s. Southern Soul, however, is a far earthier proposition and one that hits heads, hearts and feet simultaneously. Purists have even argued that its impact is such that it is the ultimate manifestation of true soul.

While not every artist included here may have been born in the South, all of them have been touched by its sound. Born out of the blues and bathed in gospel, this is music that is driving, honest and, above all, human. Dig it and dig in.