Review Sambanzo – Etiópia


Etiópia is the first album from a novel project entitled Sambanzo. Sambanzo is the jazzy outfit of saxist and musical visionary, Thiago França. Thiago França is the wind behind the tenor sax on the recent MetaL MetaL album, as well as the 2011 smash Criolo album, Nó Na Orelha.  You follow?

That’s not important. What is important is the quality of music Senhor França continues to surround himself with in São Paulo and how he records and distributes albums at no cost through free Internet downloads. The music scene in São Paulo has always been vibrant, full of collaboration and fusion of sounds. His working network of musicians takes in samba, afro, dub, reggae, bossa nova, jazz, funk and mixes it all up in a distinctly Paulista style.

The album Etiópia is primarily a jazz album but really digs into the African roots of Brazilian culture.  It’s not the typical Northamerican, improvisational jazz but a smoother, rhythmic jazz. Thiago’s tenor really cuts through the body and lands at your feet encouraging a slight step or sway to the relaxing melodies.


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Each track adds a different flavour on this experimental album. As a sax player in multiple groups, França doesn’t always get the chance to showcase his creativity or expertise. With Etiópia his instrument takes center-stage and allows him to explore and invent waves of music.

The full album can be downloaded for free on the Sambanzo webpage.

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