The Very Best of Brazil – 2 CDs (Nascente NSCDD 2011)
The problem with definitive collections is what they do not include. Even a glance at the cover of this ‘Very Best of…’ – with the inevitable girl in a small bikini walking along the inevitable beach in front of the inevitable Corcovado sunset will tell lovers of Brazilian music what to expect: an assortment of the type of light upbeat niceties heard on TV adverts. And as such it is a respectable assortment with some wonderful selections including Patricia Marx’s deliciously soporific lounge bar bossa ‘E O Meu Amor Vi Passar’ and Tom, Joyce’s infectiously dancey ‘Quexame’ and the more clubby contemporary sounds of Fernanda Porto. And it is great to see internationally neglected names like João Bosco, Tania Maria and Elis Regina on a Brazilian compilation alongside Marisa
Monte and the inevitable ‘Girl from Ipanema’. But these 2 CDs are far from being even representative of Brazilian music, and even further from being the very best of it….
Glaringly absent are João Gilberto, the inventor of Bossa Nova; Chico Buarque, the country’s best loved singer, and enormously influential names like Milton Nascimento, Djavan, Chico Science, Max de Castro, Tom Ze, Marlui Miranda and DJ Dolores. As a CD to be played during the early evening in lounge
bars from Notting Hill to Sydney it is choice. But expect no more.