The Brazilian composer, pianist and producer, Mario Castro Neves and his group, Samba S A.'s self-titled album from 1967 is oozing with class. It possesses that archetypal 60's bossa nova, jazz, samba sound. We'd place it up there with Sergio Mendes at his fnest, Tambo Trio or Milton Banana. It's a breezy ride that touches on easy listening at times, but it holds it together with a cool swagger. Biba and Thais Do Amaral's vocals are on point, with a relaxed delivery that compliments the tracks with the sublime beauty a la vocal groups such as Quarteto Em Cy, who Biba also sang with, as well as with Antonio Adolfo's e A Brazuca. Also appearing on the record is bassist extraordinaire, Novelli who worked with Milton Nascimento, Nelson Angelo E Joyce, Airto, and many of the greats of Brazilian music of the time.
The album has long been a favourite with DJs and collectors over the years, with songs selected for compilations by Gilles Peterson and Nicola Conte. One of the centrepieces of the album, 'Candomble', has been sampled by Cut Chemist on his track 'Povo De Santo'. The song 'Nana' is punchy and light with dancefoor-jazz appeal. The gloriously catchy 'Vem Balancar' is a brilliant bossa shufer. A superb listen throughout, the album sticks to a framework but delivers in spades.