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Estudando o Pagode

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One of the founding fathers of Brazil’s revolutionary Tropicalia movement, Tom Zé has always exhibited a penchant for drawing dissonant, often surprisingly experimental flourishes from traditional Brazilian song forms, injecting flashes of psychedelia into gentle Bossa Novas, and interrupting familiar Samba rhythms with wild excursions into the world of musique concrete. On the frantically invigorating Estudando O Pagode (Study of Pagoda Music), Zé’s fifth release for David Byrne’s Luaka Bop imprint, Zé continues his life-long assault on musical conformity confronting the listener with a bewildering array of sounds: braying mules, programmed beats, shrieking bird calls, gleefully deranged choral exclamations and of course swaying Pagoda rhythms. Pagoda, an improvisational style of Samba, is a very old Brazilian folk style, but in Zé’s hands it becomes a vehicle for social protest and sly musical subversiveness. Estudando is first and foremost a showcase for his dazzling eclecticism, reveling in the funk inspired breakbeats of “Ave Dor Maria”, the shuddering almost industrial stomp of “O Amor É Um Rock”, and the gorgeous elliptical chants of “Elaeu." An album of astounding stylistic breadth and bold, unexpected beauty.

Customer Reviews

The goods

Certified Hotness

One of my favorite latin albums..

Exceptional album. I haven't heard anything else from Tom Ze, but this is so good.


Isso sim é Tom. Um gênio.


Born: 1936 in Bahia, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tom Zé began his career together with Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, and Maria Bethânia. As a composer, he influenced Caetano and many others and delivered an expressive body of work through his own discography. A restless thinker, he was adept at modern erudite music experimentations, yet he was always ignored by both industry and audiences until he was discovered by David Byrne. He can be better understood through his self-coined definition: "I don't make art, I make spoken and sung journalism."...
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Estudando o Pagode, Tom Zé
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