Have a sexy weekend with progressive performers from around the bubble

Jaffa feat, Caf? Del Mar.
Naked Sushi

Bebel Gilberto, A Guy Called Gerald.
Aladdin Theater

I like a sexy groove, one that makes my hips sway just right. I usually like this groove with some moist accompaniment, stimulating melodies and provocative vocals whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

There are two shows that could satisfy my desire this Saturday. The only dilemma now is whether I should force myself to pick one to go to, or stay home, put some CDs in the changer, light some candles and get naked.

Life is hard sometimes.

This weekend there will be two good progressive electronic shows, featuring artists from England, Spain and Brazil via NYC. Both shows feature progressive mostly electronically based music that soothes mind, body and hips.

The first show features two equally good performers, Brazilian singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto and Manchester, England’s progressive electronic producer A Guy Called Gerald.

Bebel Gilberto, member of bossa nova’s first family makes a rare appearance in support of her album Tanto Tiempo. The daughter of bossa nova father Joao Gilberto has taken it slow and steady. The pressure on her to produce was understandably great when she moved to New York to find her beautiful voice.

When it came time to release her own album, she kept things fresh. She began working with producers like Thievery Corporation and Arling and Cameron who knew how to create a smooth, often Latin influenced, vibe for the loungers and dancers.

Of course these, and dozens of other producers and performers, were already using the seductive rhythms of Gilberto’s bossa nova in their music. With some good production, and new, updated standards, Gilberto’s album is a rich spread of bossa-influenced modern lounge and vice versa. On it, She sings equally seductive in Portuguese and English and the overall mix is just right for some midnight revelry. A remix album geared more toward the dance floor was just released. Gilberto hasn’t toured the states much. Her last stop here, with Thievery Corporation, was cancelled, so this is a golden opportunity to hear the sweet sounds.

Opening for Gilberto will be A Guy Called Gerald, an old school electronic artist who has been working for years but currently tours as rarely as Gilberto.

Hailing from Manchester, A Guy Called Gerald (Gerald Simpson to the taxman) caught my ear with his LP Essence.

A guest on my radio show who loves drum ‘n’ bass music wanted to play a few tracks. Being more a fan of soulful downtempo electronic stuff and sick of some of the relentless harder head pounding drum ‘n’ bass and techno, I was leery.

What I heard through the headphones was definitely worthy of the airwaves. This guy called Gerald created a slick, soulfully produced album of actual songs that stimulated the ear and evoked more feeling than the hard stuff.

On Essence, seductive female and male vocals ride good grooves that go from broken and atmospheric, a-la pioneer LTJ Bukem, to dubby downtempo and straight ahead stuff. It’s definitely one of the best electronic albums of last year.

Gerald knows his shit. Not surprisingly he’s been delivering beats to the dance floor since the ’80s. He was an original member of techno pioneers 808 State. He then had a brief and ill-fated run in (aren’t they always) with a major label before returning to the underground to drop more progress. He’s worked with David Bowie and many others and he’ll no doubt get things rolling this Saturday.

Meanwhile, swanky soiree numero deux: The supper club at the Naked Sushi venue will be serving up Naked Tapas to the exotic sounds of Jaffa with Caf? del Mar. It’s an atmosphere and a lineup that’s plenty warm, fuzzy and intimate.

Jaffa is probably best known for his laid-back downtempo electronic album Elevator out last year. It’s a pretty straightforward but consistently groovy album. It was similar to, but not as dynamic as Tosca, Kruder and Dorfmeister and Thievery Corporation releases. Featuring sprinkles of Rhodes and Hammond organs it is definitely a smooth ride.

Jaffa will be joined by DJ Bruno from the legendary Caf? Del Mar in Ibiza, Spain: A beautiful island known for great parties all year long. Also in tow for this tour should be Nappy G from New York’s jazz-funk crew Groove Collective. Bruno will drop beats, Nappy the vocals and Jaffa bits and pieces to make it his own. I could feel pretty lovely with those sounds in my ears, wine on the lips and tapas in the stomach. Once again the cost of the supper club event at 820 N. Russell is $40 with food and $20 for music only after 11 p.m., call 503-381-6331 for reservations.

I’m getting a little flustered thinking about these two shows. If I had my way these shows would be combined in a venue that’s somehow a cross between the Aladdin and Naked Sushi. At least we’re getting some interesting music through town.

If you feel like some sweet sounds with that right kind of groove, you decide which show to attend. I still can’t.