After putting out two highly-acclaimed, jazz-laced pop discs that made her an international star, Maria Rita turned her considerable artistic sights toward that most Brazilian of music genres… samba. The sensational result is Samba Meu (My Samba), a scintillating, 14-song package that showcases Maria’s skill to make samba her own personal idiom by dint of her expanding vocal range and singular interpretive skills.
Slated to be dropped by Warner Music Latina on Sept. 18, Samba Meu, was co-produced by Maria and Leandro Sapucahy, a highly-esteemed singer/producer in Brazilian samba circles who is the percussionist for Brazil’s iconic rapper Marcelo D2. Sapucahy also appeared on Sergio Mendes’ disc Timeless.
With little effort and much aplomb, Maria applies her distinctive high voice to an infectious, mostly lovestruck, parade of percolating gems, including To. Perdoado (You ‘re Forgiven) – already a hit single in Brazil – Num Corpo So (In Only Body), Cria (Dependent), and 0 Homen Falou (The Man Said), a rousing anthem to world unity and peace written by revered songsmith Gonzaguinha and recorded with the able backing vocals of samba school Velha Guarda da Mangueira.
Maria continues to explore a more improvisational path, as well, on the smart bossa/samba entry Trajetoria (Course) and the gorgeous, gingerly-paced samba-cancao Menteao Meu Coracao (Lie To My Heart). As testament to her vocal prowess, Maria often simultaneously caresses, seduces and pleads during a song without a trace of incongruity or manipulation.
Maria, who turned 30 on Sept. 9, is the daughter of one of Brazil’s most esteemed singers Elis Regina and acclaimed pianist/arranger/producer/composer Cesar Camargo Mariano. Bom Maria Rita Mariano, Maria’s middle name was given to her in honor of family friend and Brazilian legendary chanteuse Rita Lee.
Though she harbored dreams of following her mother’s footsteps as a teenager, Maria eventually enrolled at New York University where she majored in Latin American studies and communications. Maria finally put out her first CD Maria Rita in 2003, which earned her a Latin Grammy award as Best New Artist, while becoming a global hit that sold 500,000 units in Brazil alone. Maria followed up her much-heralded debut with Segundo, a stylish and jazzy, Brazilian pop disc that also garnered critical plaudits around the world while selling 700,000 units in Brazil.
Samba Meu is sure to gamer the commercial prosperity and critical praise of Maria’s previous pair of discs even as it reveals another exciting phase of Maria’s dazzling evolution into one of world’s most renowned song stylists.
Buy Samba Meu.
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central