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Old 08-30-2016, 05:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It doesn't have the sound I associate with samba, but I see now that Wikipedia lists it as samba/samba rock so my bad. Though, on the other hand, Wikipedia also lists the Sergio Mendes album it's on as being Bossa Nova. Honestly, despite having a mother who grew up in Brazil, I'm not very knowledgeable of Brazilian musical styles. If you can help clarify the differences between Samba and Bossa Nova (and Tropicalia for that matter), I'd appreciate it.
Latin styles are determined by the "core" rhythm section patterns--traditionally, the patterns that the percussionists/drummer, bassist and pianist are playing.

Here's a basic samba drum pattern:



And here's a basic bossa drum pattern:



Pay attention especially to the accent on "3" in the samba and the 3-2 "clave" part (marked "rim") in the bossa. Those are two of the easiest identifiers for telling if something is a samba or a bossa.
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Your first image isn't showing up. I can't really conjure up what a beat sounds like by looking at musical notation anyway though. I was hoping more for some examples.

Also, I'm confused by the way you keep referring to bossa nova as just "bossa". I've never seen that before, seems linguistically weird. Are we talking about the same thing? My understanding of bossa nova was that it was more of an artistic movement than simply a particular beat.
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Old 08-31-2016, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Your first image isn't showing up. I can't really conjure up what a beat sounds like by looking at musical notation anyway though. I was hoping more for some examples.

Also, I'm confused by the way you keep referring to bossa nova as just "bossa". I've never seen that before, seems linguistically weird. Are we talking about the same thing? My understanding of bossa nova was that it was more of an artistic movement than simply a particular beat.
Hmm . . . weird about the image. I can see it on my computer. Maybe because of different browsers? Anyway, yeah, "bossa" is just an abbreviation for "bossa nova." Maybe it was more of an "artistic movement." but from a musician's perspective, "bossa (nova)" simply refers to certain musical characteristics defined primarily by rhythm section patterns. If you're a musician who is interested in playing Latin music, and you're a rhythm section player (drums/percussion, bass, piano, guitar), you need to learn all of the characteristics that define them, so that you know a bossa from a samba, mambo, rumba, salsa, tango, cha-cha, etc.--there are a bunch of different "modes" in that vein, and they all have different defining characteristics.

That's also important just for doing jazz gigs in general. A bandleader might call "Autumn Leaves as a bossa" or "Satin Doll as a mambo" and you need to know what to play so that you're actually doing a bossa or mambo or whatever.

I've worked as much as a jazz musician as anything else, but I've done a number of Latin gigs over the years, too. In fact, I've been working with a fusiony Afro-Cuban jazz band recently.
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hmm . . . weird about the image. I can see it on my computer. Maybe because of different browsers?
It’s because it’s from a site that prevents hot linking images, but since you viewed in its native environment, it’s in the image cache of your browser.

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Anyway, yeah, "bossa" is just an abbreviation for "bossa nova." Maybe it was more of an "artistic movement." but from a musician's perspective, "bossa (nova)" simply refers to certain musical characteristics defined primarily by rhythm section patterns. If you're a musician who is interested in playing Latin music, and you're a rhythm section player (drums/percussion, bass, piano, guitar), you need to learn all of the characteristics that define them, so that you know a bossa from a samba, mambo, rumba, salsa, tango, cha-cha, etc.--there are a bunch of different "modes" in that vein, and they all have different defining characteristics.
Pretty much everything I’ve read about bossa nova describes it as being based in samba, but with less emphasis on rhythm and much more emphasis on melody. Maybe the beat also changed over time to the point a certain variant became associated with specifically with bossa nova?

Tropicalia has kind of fallen by the wayside in this conversation. Is there also a distinct beat associated with that? I used to think I had a pretty good handle on what was and wasn't tropicalia, then I started noticing that a lot of people I think of as belonging in that category frequently get labeled as bossa nova—like Marco Valle and Caetano Veloso, for example. So I'm pretty unclear where the line is between the two.

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That's also important just for doing jazz gigs in general. A bandleader might call "Autumn Leaves as a bossa" or "Satin Doll as a mambo" and you need to know what to play so that you're actually doing a bossa or mambo or whatever.

I've worked as much as a jazz musician as anything else, but I've done a number of Latin gigs over the years, too. In fact, I've been working with a fusiony Afro-Cuban jazz band recently.
So, are you a drummer? Percussion is one of my favorite things in music, though I’m really awful at playing it. I'd be curious to hear your Afro-Cuban jazz band, I love stuff like that.
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Last edited by Janszoon; 09-01-2016 at 05:57 AM.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So, are you a drummer? Percussion is one of my favorite things in music, though Iím really awful at playing it. I'd be curious to hear your Afro-Cuban jazz band, I love stuff like that.
My primary instruments are drums/percussion, bass and keyboards. I've played all of them professionally. Drums were my first instrument--I started taking drum lessons when I was only 6 years old (11 for piano/keyboards and 15 for bass), and I'm probably more skilled as a drummer than I am on the other instruments I play. Lately I've been gigging as a drummer most of the time again (I went through periods where I primarily gigged on my other instruments, especially bass.) Outside of gigging, though, I play keyboards more than anything else, because outside of live and studio work, 90-something percent of the time I'm writing and arranging.

I dabble with some guitar, too, but I pretty much suck on guitar and I'd never try to gig on guitar. The problem there is that I didn't get around to buying a guitar until I was in my 30s and I've never practiced it much. I struggle with the mechanics of it--I don't know if I'm just too used to bass, but guitar just seems too small to me/the strings seem to close together, etc. I can eke out guitar parts for demos, though.
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