gullbuy music review

Smokey and Miho


Tempo de Amor: songs by Baden Powell


Afro Sambas


Image: Smokey and MihoSmokey and Miho is Miho Hatori and Smokey Hormel.

Miho Hatori is the singer of Cibo Matto and Smokey Hormel has been the guitarist for Tom Waits and Beck

. Tempo de Amor is a 23 minute 5 song EP with cover versions of songs by Brazilian artist Baden Powell, who passed away in September 2000.

All the songs but one on Tempo de Amor are from the Os Afro Sambas LP, which was recorded in 1966 then re-recorded in 1990 to improve sound quality. Smokey and Miho state that Os Afro Sambas was the catalyst for their interest in Brazilian music, and hearing it was a turning point in their lives.

The second song on the disc is a cover of a song from the 1967 LP Á Vontade. All the songs were written by Baden Powell and his frequent collaborator Vinicius De Moraes.

On the liner notes of this CD Smokey says of Os Afro Sambas "the music is neither Bossa Nova, straight Samba, nor Tropicalia. The songs are cantos (chants) for the orixas (gods)."

Tempo De Amor was recorded with a full band, and includes English translations of the lyrics in the CD booklet. The sound is traditional - the tone is reverence, not interpretation. There is plenty of percussion, background vocals, and horns.

Tempo De Amor starts with the song of the same name. Tempo De Amor is a wonderful song. It starts with the smooth vocal and melody, and kicks into an energetic instrumental passage near the end of the song. The chorus of the track pulls the song that much higher. Any Bossa Nova fan will not want to miss this.

Consolação is the song from the 1967 LP Á Vontade. Consolação has sadness in the music and lyrics. Sadness and yearning. The horns provide a hook to the melody formed by the guitar and vocal. The verse has reverb on the voice, giving it a distant feel. There is a muted trumpet solo during the instrumental bridge.

Bocoché has a hyper vocal that grates on me just a little. It sounds like Miho is over emoting, like someone is a high school drama production. The song is the most upbeat on the disc and has great background vocals, but Bocoché is the one song I don't want to listen to over and over.

Canto de Iemanjá Has vocals by Smokey as well as Miho. Iemanja is the ocean goddess. Canto de Iemanjá is an ode to her. The song is slow and mystical sounding, with sitar and various traditional Brazilian instruments.

Canto do Caboclo Pedra Preta is my favorite song on the disc. It sounds like Afrobeat - very upbeat and great multi textured vocals and music. Smokey sings a bit in this one too. There is not a thing anyone would want to change in this song. It is near perfect.

Tempo de Amor is the second EP by Smokey and Miho. The first one had only originals. I like this EP a lot and can tell you that it is a worthy way to spend your cash should it call to you from the shelves of a record store.

---Carl, February 4, 2003