Women of Brazil (Putumayo, 2013)
Putumayo celebrates the sensual female voices of Brazil in the compilation titled Women of Brazil . It is an easy listening selection that highlights primarily bossa nova, which is a style that Americans seem to identify the most with Brazilian music. You can also find Brazilian pop, samba-influenced songs and the flavor of Europe. However, the rootsier side of Brazilian music was left out.
“Part of the joy in Brazilian music is this ability to combine that sultry air with great melodies and intelligent lyrics,” says Putumayo’s founder and CEO Dan Storper, who selected the tracks.
Artists featured include rising singers, well-known names like Luisa Maita and Miriam Maria, and lesser known artists. The lineup includes Nossa Alma Canta, Graca Cunha, Clara Moreno, Flavia Coelho, Maguinha, Aline Morales, Luisa Maita, Juliana Kehl, Mart’nalia, Miriam Aida, and Miriam Maria.
Of all the artists featured, the lovely voice of Magda Machado, a.k.a. Maguinha stands out. She is by far the best singer featured in the compilation. She doesn’t whisper like some of the other vocalists and has a rich, clear voice that is able to sustain notes impeccably. She presents a tasteful samba piece featuring Paulo and Ivo de Carvalho on guitars, Pat Gullota on trombone, and Felipe Souto, percussion
Maguinha is from Goiás in the interior of Brazil. About 30 years ago she founded an ecological preserve and wildlife sanctuary. She moved to New York, where she sang with established Brazilian musicians such as percussionist Dom Um Romão, guitarists Sam Elyachar and Romero Lubambo, and bassist Nilson Matta. She later settled in Miami, where she sang at Tap Tap on South Beach for six years.
In 2004, she recorded an album with Haitian singer Manno Charlemagne. In 2005, she released the album Earth and Sky with Brazilian guitarists Paulo and Ivo de Carvalho. In 2007, she collaborated with guitarist Douglas Lora. Their album, Voyage to Vera Cruz, won the 2008 Brazilian International Press Award in the USA.
Maguinha is currently living in China, working on a new album of original songs which will be recorded in Goiás, Brazil and Hong Kong.
“There’s this seductive, sensual sound, reflecting the beautiful melodies, thoughtful lyrics and unique perspectives of these performers that unites them,” explains Storper. “They all manage to make great music paired with exceptional lyrics, words that are not just about love, lust and loss, but often about something deeper.”
Women of Brazil is a compilation that flows nicely and will certainly expose new talent to international audiences.