Arts and Entertainment

Maybe when you are Brazil’s most revered percussionist (Vasconcelos has played with Jan Garbarek and Pat Metheny among others) you feel obliged to stretch the bashing-and-tapping-things envelope. For there doesn’t appear to be any musical reason for what sounds like underwater conga playing or, for that matter, rigorous crisp packet shaking.

Postcard from... Madrid

Album review: Harry Connick, Jr, Every Man Should Know (Sony Music)

There's something effortless about Harry Connick Jr's songwriting on Every Man Should Know, which may be a side-effect of having emulated Frank Sinatra for so long: one suspects that he even has a smoke and a Scotch to hand as he's penning the slinky jazz groove “One Fine Thing” or “Being Alone”, the track on which his Sinatra phrasing pays off best, aided by Wynton Marsalis's trumpet.

Dortmund players show their joy in reaching the last eight
Two-goal Rudi Skacel lifts the Cup

Skacel makes it heartbreak for Hibs

Hibernian 1 Heart of Midlothian 5: Fenlon hits out at his team's lack of desire and apologises to supporters after a hammering by Hearts in thoroughly one-sided all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final

Minister vows to stamp out racism

As Russia steps up plans for hosting the 2018 World Cup, sports minister Vitaly Mutko says the country will work to reduce racism among fans.

Album: Smod, Smod (Because Music)

Smod (the acronym stands for their names Sam, Ousco, Dronsky and former member Mouzy) are a rap group from Bamako whose third album – the first to receive a UK release – is produced by Manu Chao, who first met the group when he was working on Dimanche à Bamako, by Sam's parents Amadou & Mariam.

Album: Tulipas, Efêmera (Totolo)

Brazil is most famous for its samba and bossa nova, but these days what it does best is intelligent, innovative pop music.

Album: Various artists, Bossa and the Rise of Brazilian Music (Soul Jazz)

An exemplary account of how Brazilian music found its keenest popular focus in the 1960s, as a chic, modernistic jazz-inflected pop form of remarkable stylistic integrity.

The dark side of the boys and girls from Brazil

It may have become the epitome of laid-back cool, but, as a new book relates, the bossa nova was forged in turbulence. By Ian Burrell

Album: Various artists, Oi! A Nova Musica Brasileira! (Mais um Discos)

Expectations might lead you to believe this is just another run-of-the-mill samba and bossa nova collection. Not at all.

Gilberto Gil, Royal Festival Hall, London

A veteran artist has a history. And, it could be argued, a responsibility.

Maria Bethania, Royal Festival Hall, London

Reviewed by Sue Steward

Album: Harvey Brough, Requiem in Blue (Smudged Discs)

Requiem in Blue is an ambitious, multi-disciplinary work in tribute to the composer's late brother, featuring sections of the Latin Mass in alliance with folk and jazz elements: in the opening "Introit & Kyrie", for example, Natacha Atlas's rendition of "Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Hair" presages the Latin text.

Album: Pat Metheny, Orchestrion (Nonesuch)

Conceived in the late 19th century, the orchestrion was a large contraption allowing various instruments to be played by one musician simultaneously through an ingenious series of mechanical relays.

Album: Angelique Kidjo, Õÿö (Razor & Tie/Proper)

Õÿö is Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo's celebration of her roots and influences, from early icons such as Miriam Makeba and the Togolese singer Bella Bellow to Santana – whose "Samba Pa Ti" brought the Saturday-night dances of her teenage years to romantic conclusions – and soul and funk legends such as Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and James Brown.

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Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links