2000 release. From raw and unadorned vocal-drum tracks to truly Bahian, Afro-Brazilica, Grupo Batuque present Africa Brazil. The journey starts with the very beginnings of samba, whose predecessor arrived washed up on the coasts of Bahia as worship and freedom songs. This music provided the soundtrack to the Orixia based religion Candomble, and the acrobatic martial art, capoeira, which both grew from the African culture, newly arrived in Brazil. In Africa, music plays a functional, ritualistic part in everyday life. And this is the case in Brazil today, where music is an integral part of day to day life - climaxing with Carnival once a year. This is when most of the country gets out to dance along to the many Escolas do Samba ("samba schools") and Blocos taking part. The word "Samba" may come from the African Semba or "invitation to dance". Africa Brazil features percussion maestros Wilson Des Neves and Robertinho Silva. Other musicians include: Ivan Conti (drummer with Azymuth), Zezinho and Leo Leobonz - who has spent his years playing with Mongo Santamaria and Fania All-Stars. The African influences on the music and culture of Brazilian life cannot be overstated, with up to five million Africans from Ghana, Angola, Zaire and Nigeria, transplanted from their native lands to work as slaves in the plantations in Northeast Brazil. The immigrants brought their dance, language and religion, which they integrated with the strongly catholic and European culture, brought to Brazil by the colonial Portuguese. This album features the voice of Aleuda singing Jongos - a highly improvisational form of ceremonial music brought from Ghana. Other vocalists are Sergao and Aperacidinha from the favelas of Madariera on the northern outskirts of Rio. Also included is "Read Between The Lines" featuring Marcina Arnold with help DJ/producer Roc Hunter. The track is available again for everyone who missed it first time round when it was released earlier in the year to a very enthusiastic response, media and club wise. A London/Rio collaboration - this frenetic paced Afro/samba is carried by Marcina's powerful vocal and is supported by full horn section. "Keyzer" is dedicated to Banda Black Rio and Fela Kuti - Fela's rhythm and groove, but keeping the samba through the "Gaffeira" melodies of the horn section. There is also an authentic sambossa, the breezy "Sa Con Janga" with Wilson Des Neves on drums, a track done in the style of The Ipanemas, the original Afro samba group.