The Rough Guide to the Music of Brazil: Rio de Janeiro (World Music Network RGNET 1157 CD, 2005)
This isn’t the first in the Rough Guide series to deal with Brazil and it likely won’t be the last. Because Brazil has so much going on musically, this isn’t even any kind of retread. Not only does it focus specifically on sounds from the vast metropolis of Rio de Janeiro- including a lot of modern ones expanding upon older styles like samba and bossa nova -it takes the added step of featuring a goodly number of artists not very well known outside of Brazil. But while I wasn’t previously familiar with a majority of the folks showcased here, after one listening I was ready to welcome all with open arms.
Like I said, much of the disc bears a contemporary sheen though the basic structures have that familiar Afro-Portuguese kick that the bulk of Brazilian popular music is noted for. So along with the pagode samba of Beth Carvalho, you also get the whispery funk of Clara Moreno, Moises Santana’s opening track that goes from tart keyboard riffing into a whomping carnaval groove, Quinta’s seamless mixing of acoustic percussion, buzzing electronics and dry vocals, Elizete Cardoso’s vintage bossa nova and
Paolo Bellinati teaming with Mónica Salmaso on an old spine-tingler composed by Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell.
Nope, the Rough Guides aren’t through with Brazil yet. And as this tasty selection shows, there’s no reason they ought to be.
Author: Tom Orr
Tom Orr is a California-based writer whose talent and mental stability are of an equally questionable nature. His hobbies include ignoring trends, striking dramatic poses in front of his ever-tolerant wife and watching helplessly as his kids surpass him in all desirable traits.