Hey Hey

Jorge Ben-Self-Titled (1969)

Hey hey Jorge Ben. A couple of years ago I discovered his 1970 album Forca Bruta, and I was immediately hooked. That album, along with his self titled lp the year before are in my mind, essential Jorge Ben. In these albums you’ll find Ben’s brilliant mix of Afro-Brazilian rhythms along with his searing  soulful delivery, a sound that contrasted quite distinctly from the other Tropicalistas in Rio at the time. While Caetano, Gal, and Gilberto Gil were exploring otherworldly extremes in rock, folk, and psychedelia, Ben was forging a sound for himself that was no less revolutionary and progressive, and all without the need for a fuzz pedal. This video footage certain attests to that sentiment. Ben delivers a searing version of Domingas, the second song on his self-titled release from 1969; here accompanied by the Originais do Samba, providing the percussive backbone and punch in this live performance. What really gets me is the faces of the audience, their reaction, you almost think it must be their first encounter with this man’s music. Of course one can perhaps also percieve the racial implications that were in the room as well, Ben, a dark skinned Brazilian was singing these songs, ranging from streetlife, soccer, love, and eventually about the beauty of blackness, in turn driving the fueling Brazil’s coming social political musical movement Black Rio.

So influential was Ben’s music that even Caetano, Gal, and Gilberto all would cover songs by Ben. This video left me stunned in awe and this having heard and enjoyed so many other of his albums.Enjoy. EB

Also here’s an unofficial translation of the some of the lyrics, furthur proof of Ben’s genius as a composer as well ,

“the week ends on sunday ,the day ends in the afternoon,the afternoon ends at night,the night ends at dawn,at dawn I end up crying,dying dying of love for you,for you are my hey hey only my hey hey dominga,my blue angel,my light,my sea of pink, my partner,dominga dominga,my girlfriend,you are not ave maria is more full of grace,how wonderfull….for you are my hey hey…only my hey hey , ….my sweet love ,dominga my hopes ,my way my inspiration my spring,for you are my hey hey,only my hey hey…

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