Oba, Lá Vem Ela

Here is a samba piece by Brazilian vocalist Jorge Ben Jor released in 1970 as part of the Philips album Força Bruta or Brute Force (Portuguese)

This piece is full of movement — very summery and spaced out. The earthy vocals grow through the dense background figures like flowers from a plant; as if made of the same matter.

Ben Jor and his band have a synergy so rare and beautiful that this music can never fade into the background — it’s equally improvised as it is prepared: the embodiment of musical freedom and essence. In the second half of the song, Ben Jor’s vocals becomes raspy and free: truly unleashed.

This, I think, is a sign of the artist’s fulfilment of their musical journey; when one can yield their instrument as an artist would a paintbrush: to create and experiment with a virtuosic aptitude, translating creative thought into sound with no extra thought.

It always brings a smile to my face to hear the personality of the musician come out — Ben Jor’s clearly improvised phrases and interaction with the other band members elucidates his effortlessness in expression.

I urge you to listen to this and form your own thoughts as well — see your own colours. There’s so much to the song — it develops and flips like a fish on a deck, showing a new side every chorus.

Não me importo que ela não me olhe
Não diga nada e nem saiba que eu existo
Quem eu sou, pois eu sei muito bem quem é ela
E fico contente só em ver ela passar
Ôba, lá vem ela
Estou de olho nela
A noite é linda e ela mais ainda
Todinha de rosa
Mais linda, mais meiga
Que uma rosa
Ôba, lá vem ela
Estou de olho nela
Não me importo que falem que pensem
Pois sem saber ela é minha alegria
Ela tem um perfume de uma flor que eu não sei o nome
Mas ela deve ter um nome bonito igual a ela
Ôba, lá vem ela
Estou de olho nela