bola sete – samba in seattle: live at the penthouse, 1967

Bola Sete’s live performances show the Brazilian hunched over a guitar, with his face skewed in concentration as faint plucks radiate from his instrument. It is easy to forget exactly how intricate Sete’s playing is by way of seduction; while he operates on a mechanical level, there is sufficient soul in his compositions to thrill the sentiments of all in earshot. For John Fahey, Sete’s music came from a time when “people were closer to themselves…and each other”. The Penthouse in Seattle closed in 1968 and was shortly replaced by a multi-storey car park. When listening to the sublime picking, it is unreasonable to resist the romance.  


A favourite: ‘Spanish Dance No. 5’ 

‘Samba in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse, 1967’ is out now via Tompkins Square.

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