Lenine | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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As President Bush helpfully pointed out last year, "Brazil is big," but Americans rarely hear much of the country's music aside from samba and bossa nova. Brazil is overflowing with vibrant regional forms, and Lenine includes many of those sounds in his genre-hopping composites--a tactic that's made him a star in his homeland. His new U.S. debut, a self-titled album on Six Degrees Records, compiles tracks from his last three studio discs, showcasing his knack for turning the styles of his native Recife (a city in the northeast corner of the country) into an electronics-tweaked variant of MPB, or musica popular brasileira. "Jack Soul Brasileiro" is a tribute to songwriter Jackson do Pandeiro (it includes a snippet of his music) that weaves pummeling maracatu rhythms into accordion-driven forro music. Elsewhere, he adds contemporary drum programming to twangy berimbau licks and to an Afro-Caribbean jam with members of Yerba Buena. He's playing solo for his Chicago debut (a visa snafu kept him from playing the 2000 World Music Festival), and though I'll miss the complex rhythmic support he gets on his records it'll be nice to hear his resourceful guitar playing front and center. Sat 8/5, 10 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707, $17 in advance, $20 at the door.

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