Tag Archives: bossa nova

Artist Profiles: Vinicius de Moraes

Vinicius de Moraes

Marcus Vinicius da Cruz e Mello Moraes, better known as Vinicius de Moraes was born October 19, 1913 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Vinicius de Moraes was one of the most influential figures of the Bossa Nova and Brazilian popular music. He worked with many other Brazilian artists and composers including Antonio Carlos Jobim. Together, the two partners gave birth to words and images of Brazil so strong that many around the world cannot think of Brazil without hearing “The Girl From Ipanema” or recalling the images, colors, feelings and sounds of Marcel Camus’ film “Black Orpheus” which was based on a play by Moraes and introduced their music to the world.

Vinicius de Moraes died July 9, 1980.


Orfeu da Conceição (Odeon, 1956)
Vinícius e Odete Lara (Elenco, 1963)
De Vinícius e Baden especialmente para Ciro Monteiro (Elenco, 1965)
Vinícius e Caymmi no Zum Zum (Elenco, 1965)
Os Afro-sambas (Elenco, 1966)
Vinícius: Poesia e Canção]] (Forma, 1966)
Garota de Ipanema, soundtrack (Philips, 1967)
Vinícius (Elenco, 1967)
Vinícius em Portugal (Festa, 1969)
En La Fusa with Maria Creuza and Toquinho (Diorama, 1970)
Amália/Vinícius (1970)
Como Dizia O Poeta… (RGE, 1971)
Toquinho e Vinícius (RGE, 1971)
Vinícius + Bethânia + Toquinho – En La Fusa (Trova, 1971)
Marilia/Vinícius (RGE, 1972)
Vinícius Canta: Nossa Filha Gabriela (Polydor, 1972)
São Demais os Perigos Desta Vida (RGE, 1972)
O Bem-Amado (Som Livre, 1973)
Vinícius & Toquinho (Philips, 1974)
Saravá Vinícius! (Mercury, 1974)
Vinícius & Toquinho (Philips, 1975)
O Poeta e o Violão (RGE, 1975)
Deus lhe Pague (EMI, 1976)
Antologia Poética (Philips, 1977)
Tom, Vinícius, Toquinho e Miúcha (Som Livre, 1977)
10 Anos de Toquinho e Vinícius (Philips, 1979)
Um Pouco de Ilusão (Ariola, 1980)
Testamento… (RGE, 1980)
A Arca de Noé (Universal, 1980)
A Arca de Noé 2 (PolyGram, 1981)
Poeta, Moça e Violão – Vinícius, Clara e Toquinho (Collector’s Editora LTDA, 1991)
Vinícius & Amigos (Seleções/Reader’s Digest, 2006)
Um encontro no Au bon gourmet (Doxy, 2015)

Boxed sets:

A Bencao, Vinicius: A Arca do Poeta, 18 CDs+2 Compilations (Universal Music)


Artist Profiles: Sergio Mendes

Sergio Mendes – Photo by Mizo

Sergio Santos Mendes was born in Niteroi, Brazil, February 11th, 1941. His father was a medical doctor. Mendes attended the local conservatory with hopes of becoming a classical pianist. As his interest in jazz grew, he started playing in nightclubs in the late-1950s just as bossa nova, a jazz-inflected derivative of samba, was taking off. Mendes played with Antonio Carlos Jobim (regarded as a mentor), and many U.S. jazz musicians who toured Brazil.

Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 1961. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderly and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Mendes moved to the United States in 1964 and recorded two albums under the Brasil ’65 group name with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records.

When sales were slow, he replaced his Brazilian born vocalist Wanda da Sah with the unique voice of Chicago native Lani Hall (who learned Mendes’ Portuguese material phonetically).

In 1966, Sergio Mendes and his group were signed to a record deal by Herb Alpert, whose enthusiastic response led to immediate success. Mixing Brazilian, jazz and American popular styles, Brasil ’66 became known for its fresh, innovative sound. While Mendes was the lively pianist, arranger, producer and musical director, it was American vocalist Lani Hall (who would later marry Herb Alpert) who gave the group the special touch that ensured their success on the pop music charts. Lani is equally comfortable singing in English, Spanish and Portuguese, although you’d never know it from the way she performs all of her songs with the ease of a native.

After Herb Alpert’s A&M label released the first Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 album, it ultimately went platinum based largely on the success of the single “Mais Que Nada” and the personal support of Alpert, with whom Mendes toured regularly.

The original Brasil ’66 lineup, as recorded on the first three A&M albums, consisted of Mendes on piano and keyboards, Lani Hall and Janis Hansen on vocals, Jose Soares on Latin percussion, Bob Matthews on bass and Joao Palma on drums, Tijuana Brass guitarist John Pisano played guitar starting with Equinox.

Starting with Fool on the Hill, the Brasil ’66 lineup would include Mendes, Lani Hall and vocalist Karen Phillips, with a completely new rhythm section consisting of Sebastiao Neto, Dom Um Romao, Rubens Bassini and Oscar Castro Neves. Stillness would be Lani’s final album with Brasil ’66, leaving to record her first solo project in 1972, Sun Down Lady.

Even though his early singles with Brasil ’66 (most notably Mas Que Nada) met with some success, Mendes reached mainstream prominence when he performed the Oscar nominated Burt Bacharach/Hal David song “The Look of Love” on the Academy Awards telecast in March 1968. Brasil ’66’s version of the song quickly shot into the top 10, eclipsing Dusty Springfield’s version from the soundtrack of the movie, and Mendes spent the rest of 1968 enjoying consecutive top 10 and top 20 hits with his follow-up singles, “The Fool on the Hill” and “Scarborough Fair.”

Although he continued to enjoy adult contemporary chart successes with Brasil ’66 through 1971, he would not experience the mainstream chart hits he enjoyed in 1968 until his comeback album in 1983 generated the biggest single of his career, “Never Gonna Let You Go.” However, from 1968 on, Mendes was one of the most popular Brazilian stars in the world, enjoying immense popularity worldwide and performing in venues as varied as stadium arenas and the White House, where he gave concerts for both President Johnson and President Nixon.

Mendes’ career in the United States slowed down in the mid-1970s, but he remained very popular in South America and Japan. His two albums with Bell Records in 1973 and 1974, followed by several for Elektra from 1975 on, found Mendes continuing to combine the best in American pop music and post-Bossa writers of his native Brazil, while forging new directions in soul with collaborators like Stevie Wonder, who wrote Mendes’ R&B-influenced minor hit, “The Real Thing.”

In 1983, he rejoined Alpert’s A&M records and enjoyed huge success with a self-titled album and several follow-up albums, all of which received considerable adult contemporary airplay with charting singles. By the time Mendes released his Grammy-winning Elektra album Brasileiro in 1992, he was one of the leading artists in the area of pop-inflected Brazilian jazz.

The late-1990s lounge music revival brought retrospection and respect to Mendes’ body of work, particularly the classic Brasil ’66 albums.

In 2006, Concord Records and Starbucks Hear Music co-released Timeless. Produced by and featuring will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Timeless is a wholly original blend of music. Will and Sergio brought in the Black Eyed Peas, one of hip-hop’s leading artists, and also recruited some of pop music’s biggest artists, each a Sergio fan, to contribute to various tracks, including Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, india.arie, Black Thought of The Roots, John Legend, Chali 2na of Jurassic 5, Jill Scott, and Q-Tip, among others.

Sergio describes Timeless, recorded in Brazil and Los Angeles, as a “. . .wonderful marriage of rhythms, because it?s all African rhythms and haunting melodies. The same common denominator that brought the samba to Brazil and brought jazz to America.”


Dance Moderno (Philips, 1960)
Cannonball’s Bossa Nova (Riverside/Capitol Records, 1962)
Você Ainda Não Ouviu Nada! (Philips, 1963)
The Swinger from Rio (Atlantic, 1964)
In Person at El Matador (Atlantic, 1965)
Brasil ’65 (Capitol, 1965)
The Great Arrival (Atlantic, 1966)
Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 (A&M, 1966)
Equinox (A&M, 1967)
Quiet Nights (Philips, 1967)
The Beat of Brazil (Atlantic, 1967)
Look Around (A&M, 1968)
Fool on the Hill (A&M, 1968)
Sergio Mendes’ Favorite Things (Atlantic, 1968)
Crystal Illusions (A&M, 1969)
Ye-Me-Lê (A&M, 1969)
Live at the Expo (A&M, 1970)
Stillness (A&M, 1970)
País Tropical (A&M, 1971)
Four Sider (A&M, 1972)
Primal Roots (A&M, 1972)
In Concert (A&M, 1973)
Love Music (Bell, 1973)
Vintage 74 (Bell, 1974)
Sérgio Mendes (Elektra, 1975)
Homecooking (Elektra, 1976)
Sergio Mendes and the New Brasil ’77 (Elektra, 1977)
Pelé (Atlantic, 1977)
Brasil ’88 (Elektra, 1978)
Alegria (WEA, 1979)
Magic Lady (Elektra, 1979)
Sérgio Mendes (A&M, 1983)
Confetti (A&M, 1984)
Brasil ’86 (A&M, 1986)
Arara (A&M, 1989)
Brasileiro (Elektra, 1992)
Oceano (Verve, 1996)
Timeless (Concord, 2006)
Encanto (Concord, 2008)
Bom Tempo (Concord, 2010)
Magic (Okeh, 2014)


Artist Profiles: Joao Gilberto

João Gilberto

Legendary Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer João Gilberto is the artist who revolutionized Brazilian popular music in the 1950s by creating the bossa nova sound.

João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira, better known as João Gilberto, was born June 10, 1931 in Juazeiro, Bahia, Brazil.

Gilberto has been idolized by music enthusiasts and musicians alike for his unique contributions to global music, and his influence continues to reach a wide array of artists-from Brazilian stars Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to pop performers such as Beck and David Byrne.

Gilberto invited Caetano Veloso, his most accomplished and faithful follower, to sit at the production helm for João Voz e Violão. Veloso, a Brazilian music legend in his own right, helped Gilberto create a jewel of an album, one that easily takes its place alongside the most classic of Gilberto’s recordings.

Joao voz e violao includes favorite standards along with compositions by the newer generation of performers Gilberto inspired, although the initial idea for this project was to re-record songs featured on Gilberto’s first three albums. Released between 1958 and 1961, they are long out of print.

Veloso suggested recording some new songs, and Gilberto agreed. The final track listing included only two songs from Gilberto’s first albums: “Desafinado” (by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton MendonCa) and “Chega de Saudade” (by Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes)-the latter being the song that launched bossa nova. Gilberto added “Nao Vou Pra Casa” (written by Antonio Almeida and Roberto Roberti in 1941) and “Segredo” (written by Herivelto Martins and Marino Pinto in 1947).

João Gilberto

Rounding out the João Voz e Violão’s repertoire are the Veloso-penned tracks “Desde que o Samba t Samba” and “CoraCao Vagabundo” Gil’s “Eu Vim da Bahia” jobim’s “Voce Vai Ver” Emesto Lecuona’s “Eclipse” and Bororo’s “Da Cor do Pecado,” a samba which Gilberto has been singing in concert for years.


Quando Você Recordar/Amar é Bom (1951)
Anjo Crue/Sem Ela (1951)
Quando Ela Sai/Meia Luz (1952)
Chega de Saudade/Bim Bom (1958)
Desafinado/Hô-bá-lá-lá (1958)
Chega de Saudade (1959)
O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor (1960)
João Gilberto (1961)
João Gilberto Cantando as Musicás do Filme Orfeo do Carnaval (1962)
Boss of Bossa Nova (1962)
Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall (1962)
The Warm World of João Gilberto (1963)
Getz/Gilberto with Stan Getz (1964)
Herbie Mann & João Gilberto with Antônio Carlos Jobim (1965)
Getz/Gilberto Vol. 2 with Stan Getz (1966)
João Gilberto en Mexico (1970)
João Gilberto (1973)
The Best of Two Worlds with Stan Getz (1976)
Getz/Gilberto ’76 with Stan Getz (released ((2016) (1976)
Amoroso (1976)
Gilberto and Jobim (1977)
João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira (1980)
Brasil (with Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Maria Bethânia) (1981)
Interpreta Tom Jobim (1985)
Meditação (album)|Meditação (1985)
Live in Montreux (1986)
Live in Montreux (1987)
O Mito (1988)
Stan Getz meets João & Astrud Gilberto (1990)
João (1991)
Eu Sei que Vou Te Amar (1994)
João Voz e Violão (2000)
Live at Umbria Jazz (2002)
In Tokyo (2004)
For Tokyo – edited only in Japan (2007)
Um encontro no Au bon gourmet (2015)


Artist Profiles: Elis Regina

Elis Regina

Singing for me is a sacred,” said Elis Regina. Coming to prominence at the peak of bossa nova years in the late 1950s and early 1960s and considered by many Brazilians as one of their finest female singers, her ability to bring the sensual emotions of a song to life made her a myth in her own lifetime.

This small petite dark haired woman stunned everyone with the perfectly pitched purity of her gorgeous voice, a voice which seemed effortlessly capable of capturing both strength and vulnerability, of evoking the mixture of emotions people often travel through in a brief moment.

Born Elis Regina de Carvalho on March 17, 1945 in Port Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil into a modest family she was from an early age precociously talented and ambitious for fame. At that age of eleven she was singing on Mauricio Sobrinhos program on the local Radio Gaucha in front of a live audience at the Cine Castelo, making her first professional deal as a singer with station in 1959.

The following year she went to Rio de Janeiro to record her first single and in 1961, when she was only sixteen, the same record label, Continental, released her first LP called Viva a Brotolandia. That eclectic set, featuring calypso and rock and roll tunes showed from the beginning her enormous versatility.

By 1962 she had received two major awards: Queen of the Disco Club (1961) and Best Singer of the Year (1962). In 1965 she reached national fame almost overnight when she performed Edu Lobo and Vinicius de Moraes’ “Arrastao” at the first Brazilian Popular Music Festival televised by Excelsior TV. Her attractive clothes and trademark performance style of moving her hands and rotating her arms in the air for emphasis as she sang was integral to the impact of her performance.

Elis was an early champion of the composers of her generation of both bossa nova and the blossoming Tropicalia movement. Her 1966 album Elis, included the first recording of the song “Cancao do Sal”, by Milton Nascimento. She went on to record the early songs of Ivan Lins (“Madalena”), Tavito/ Ze Rodrix (“Casa no Campo”) and Belchior (“Como Nossos Pais”). By being the first to record the songs of Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, Joao Bosco, Aldir Blanc, Renato Teixeira, Fatima Guedes she helped bring their music to mainstream audiences.

In the mid-1960s with Jair Rodrigues she did a number of concerts called Dois na bossa at Sao Paulo’s Paramount Theatre which captured the imagination of the time. Their success led to three albums together and one of the most important Brazilian Music TV shows, O Fino da Bossa, aired in 1965.

In 1975 she worked for sixteen months at Sao Paulo’s Bandeirantes Theatre in the autobiographical show, Falso brillante. From then onwards she was regarded as a huge star.
She had what has been described as a stormy life. She was married to her first husband Ronaldo Boscoli for six years bearing a son, Joao Marcelo. During this time however she fell in love with Cesar Camargo Mariano with whom she was working on Elis & Tom, an album recorded in the United States with key bossa nova composer Tom Jobim, which many regard as her finest and which is certainly one of her most popular.

After having commemorated 10 years with Jorge Ben and Jair Rodrigues as part of the cast of artists in 1973, president of Phonogram (Phillips), Andre Midani, verified that the following year Elis Regina would be celebrating 10 years with the label. Having had massive success with such songs as Casa no Campo and Aguas de Marco over the previous years, Midani asked Elis if there was anything she really wanted. “Record an album of music by Tom Jobim… with Tom Jobim,” she said.

In January of 1974, Antonio Carlos Jobim received a telephone call from Andre Midani, proposing the recording of a record with Elis Regina. Tom accepted the invite.
Philips invited Aloysio de Oliveira (1914-1995) to be producer of the project; he was already a friend of all involved. The original budget didn’t allow for sending everybody to the US, where Tom had been living for some years. It would be cheaper to record in Brazil, but for some motive Tom couldn’t travel.

So, on the 20th of February, Elis Regina and her husband Cesar Camargo Mariano went to Los Angeles, accompanied by Aloisio de Oliveira and Joao Marcello (son of Elis and Ronaldo Boscoli), as well as members of Cesar’s band, Helio Delmiro (guitar), Luisao (bass) and Paulinho Braga (drums). They were followed a few days later by Roberto de Oliveira, Elis’ manager and responsible for the idea of the whole project along with the mission of recording a documentary for television.

The final result left everyone involved happy. Tom was later quoted as saying: “It was excellent because Elis is an incredible singer. The record featured a great repertory accompanied by excellent musicians. And a fantastic pianist, Cesar Camargo Mariano.”

With Mariano she had two children, Pedro and Maria Rita. Both of her children have become musicians. In 1969, her international career took off when she toured the main European and Latin American cities.
Many years later, a chat about back catalogs between Joao Marcello Boscoli (president of Trama) and the artistic vice-president of Universal, Max Pierre, led to the idea of mixing the classic “Elis & Tom” in stereo and 5.1 surround.

During three months, Cesar Camargo Mariano, who co-produced, played piano and did most of the arrangements on the original 1974 recordings (and who was also married to Elis at the time), worked on the project in the Trama studios alongside sound engineer Luis Paulo Serafim.

Cesar’s first concern was to change nothing of the original recording. He created a map with the positions of the instruments during the recording at the MGM studios in Los Angeles. The result is Elis & Tom.

Elis Regina died January 19, 1982 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Viva a Brotolândia (1961)
Poema de Amor (1962)
Ellis Regina (1963)
O Bem do Amor (1963)
Dois na Bossa (1965)
O Fino do Fino (1965)
Samba, Eu Canto Assim! (1965)
Dois na Bossa nº2 (1966)
Elis (1966)
Dois na Bossa nº3 (1967)
Elis Especial (1968)
Elis, Como & Porque (1969)
Elis Regina in London (1969)
Honeysuckle Rose Aquarela Do Brasil, withToots Thielemans (1969)
Em Pleno Verão (1970)
Elis no Teatro da Praia com Miele & Bôscoli (1970)
Ela (1971)
Elis (1972)
Elis – no 2 (1973)
Elis & Tom (1974)
Falso Brilhante (1976)
Elis (1977)
Transversal do Tempo (1978)
Vento de Maio (1978)
Essa Mulher (1979)
Elis Especial (1979)
Saudades do Brasil (1980)
Elis (1980)
Montreux Jazz Festival 1979, with Hermeto Pascoal (1982)
Luz das Estrelas (1984)
Personalidade (1987)
Elis Regina no Fino da Bossa (1994)
Dose Dupla-Elis Regina (1994)
Elis ao Vivo (1995)
Sucessos Inesquecíveis de Elis Regina, 5-CD boxed set compilation (2001)
20 Anos de Saudade (2002)
Little Pepper The Definitive Collection (2004)
Pérolas Raras (2006)


Elis Regina MPB Especial 1973 – black and white DVD released in 2005 (2005)
Elis Regina Carvalho Costa (2006)
Elis 3 DVD box set – composed of Na Batucada da Vida, Doce de Pimenta, and Falso Brilhante (2006)


Artist Profiles: Bossacucanova

Bossacucanova – Photo by Daniela DeCorso

Bossacucanova is a Rio-based trio that takes the classic heart of cool 1960s bossa nova, and makes it new again. Their fresh, groove-filled CDs are part of a new generation’s world-wide infatuation with Brazil’s beloved bossa nova.

DJ Marcelinho DaLua, bassist Marcio Menescal and keyboardist Alexandre Moreira burst onto the international dance music scene in 1999 with Revisited Classics, a collection of both new and old bossa nova songs given new life and vigor through the application of funky breakbeats, skillful turntablism, electronic manipulation and adventurous mixology. The idea of fusing the smooth sounds of classic bossa nova recordings with up-to-the-minute electronic elements wasn’t exactly new. But Bossacucanova’s approach to Euro-Brazilian fusion is unique, in part because the trio treats bossa nova as the main dish and the breakbeats, electronica and other embellishments as garnishes, rather than the other way around.

Uma Batida Diferente was recorded in the band’s home base of Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro in early 2004. The band continued its well-established pattern by inviting important figures of Brazilian music both old and new to participate in the project: Legendary Brazilian composer and guitar player Roberto Menescal (who is also Marcio’s father), essentially a fourth member of the band, joined then on the project. Other stars like singer Marcos Valle, Zuco 103, Cris Delanno and others, as well.

Live, the group includes singers (including Cris Delano), bass, keyboards, DJ, sax, flute, guitar, percussion. They were featured at the 3rd annual Heineken TransAtlantic Festival, a perfect example of new world music.


Revisited Classics (Six Degrees Records, 1999)
Brasilidade (Six Degrees Records, 2001)
Uma Batida Diferente (Six Degrees Records, 2004)
Ipanema Lounge (2005)
Ao Vivo (Six Degrees Records, 2008)
Nossa onda é essa (2013)
Our kind of bossa (Six Degrees Records, 2014)
Best of Bossacucanova (Six Degrees Records, 2016)


Artist Profiles: Baden Powell

Baden Powell

Up until his death in 2000, Baden Powell was considered one of the world’s finest contemporary acoustic guitar players and one of the most expressive composers of the 20th Century Brazilian popular music. Powell grew up listening to music. His father, a shoemaker by trade and a violinist by calling, held regular get-togethers at home at which Pixinguinha and Donga, two of Brazil’s popular music icons, were always present.

In 1960, during a performance by Tom Jobim at Arpege, a nightclub in Copacabana, Baden met Vinicius de Moraes, who would become his most frequent collaborator and who was responsible for Baden’s integration into the bossa-nova movement. Moraes said of Powell, Baden’s musical antennae to Bahia and, in a final stretch, to Africa, allowed him to put together this new syncretism, adding a carioca taste, within the spirit of modern samba, to the Afro-Brazilian candomble, giving it a more universal dimension.

Soon after, Powell went to the Unites States to meet and play with Stan Getz and was a key player in the integration of the bossa nova into jazz. Above all, as an acoustic guitar virtuoso, he never forgot his Brazilian roots.


Monteiro de Souza e Sua Orquestra Apresentando Baden Powell e Seu Violão (Philips, 1961)
Um Violão Na Madrugada (Philips, 1961)
A Vontade (Elenco, 1963)
Baden Powell Swings with Jimmy Pratt (Elenco, 1963)
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, Vol. 1 (Barclay, 1964)
Billy Nencioli + Baden Powell (Barclay, 1965)
Tristeza on Guitar (MPS/Saba, 1966)
Ao Vivo No Teatro Santa Rosa [live] (Elenco, 1966)
Os Afro Sambas de Baden e Vinicius (Forma, 1966)
Tempo Feliz (Forma/Polygram, 1966)
Poema on Guitar (MPS/Saba, 1968)
Fresh Winds (United Artists, 1969)
27 Horas de Estudio (Elenco, 1969)
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell, Vol. 2 (Barclay, 1969)
Canto on Guitar (MPS/Saba, 1970)
Os Cantores Da Lapinha (Elenco, 1970)
Solitude on Guitar (Columbia, 1971)
Baden Powell Quartet, Vols. 1-3 (Barclay, 1970)
Baden Powell – Live In Japan ’70 (Barclay, 1971)
E de Lei (Philips, 1972)
Images on Guitar (MPS, 1973)
Estudos (MPS, 1974)
Apaixonado (MPS, 1975)
The Frankfurt Opera Concert 1975 (Tropical Music, 1975)
Baden Powell canta Vinicius de Moraes e Paolo Cesar Pinheiro (Festival, 1977)
Nosso Baden (WEA, 1980)
Simplesmente (WEA, 1980)
Melancolie (Accord, 1985)
Seresta Brasileira (Milestone, 1988)
Bossa Nova Guitarra Jubileu (Saludos Amigos, 1993)
Three Originals (MPS/Polygram, 1993)
Baden Powell (MPS, 1993)
Rio Das Valsas (Alex, 1994)
Guitar Pieces (Etcetera, 1994)
Live in Hamburg (Acoustic Music, 1995)
Guitar Music (Etcetera/Qualiton, 1995)
Live in Rio (Iris, 1996)
Os Afro Sambas (Iris, 1996)
Felicidade (Adda, 1996)
Rio Das Valsas (Iris, 1996)
Mestres Da MPB (WEA Latina, 1996)
Baden Powell a Paris (Rge, 1996)
Baden Powell (Musidisc, 1997)
A Vontade (Polygram Brazil, 1997)
Guitar Artistry of Baden Powell (Dom, 1998)
Baden Powell de Aquino (Iris, 2001)
Lembrancas (Trama, 2001)
De Rio à Paris (Body & Soul, 2003)
Fremeaux and Associates Recordings 1994-1996 (Fremeaux & Associes, 2003)
O Universo Musical de Baden Powell (Sunnyside, 2003)
Rio das Valsas (Iris, 2003)
Live in Montreux (Fremeaux & Associes, 2004)
Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell (Universal, 2005)
At the Rio Jazz Club (Iris, 2005)
Baden Live a Bruxelles (Sunnyside, 2005)
Musica (WEA, 2005)


Artist Profiles: Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto is the legendary Brazilian singer sometimes referred to as The Girl from Ipanema. She is also known as The Queen of bossa nova. Her unique style combines seductive rhythms of Brazilian and American pop and jazz.

She was born on March 29, 1940 in Salvador, in the Northeast of Brazil, in the state of Bahia, Astrud is one of three sisters of a German father and a Brazilian mother. She grew up in Rio de Janeiro. She emigrated to the United States in the early 1960s, where she resides since then.

Besides having had an accomplished career as a singer, Astrud’s is a prolific songwriter. She has influenced several generations of musicians and vocalists, worldwide. The combination of international touring, the reissuing of some of her early records on CD, as well as the release of the Desafinado duet with George Michael has created an additional new generation of international fans for Astrud Gilberto, who joined the large number of her long time followers.


Getz Au Go Go (Verve Records, 1964)
The Astrud Gilberto Album (Verve Records, 1965)
The Shadow of Your Smile (Verve Records, 1965)
Look to the Rainbow (Verve Records, 1966)
Beach Samba (Verve Records, 1967)
A Certain Smile, a Certain Sadness (Verve Records, 1967)
Windy (Verve Records, 1968)
17-Sep-69 (Verve Records, 1969)
I Haven’t Got Anything Better to Do (Verve Records, 1970)
Gilberto with Turrentine CTI Records, 1971)
Now (Perception Records, 1972)
That Girl from Ipanema (Audio Fidelity Records, 1977)
Astrud Gilberto Plus James Last Orchestra (Polygram Record, 1987)
Live in New York (Pony Canyon, 1996)
Temperance (Pony Canyon, 1997)
Jungle (Magya Productions, 2002)



Rozina Pátkai’s Paradise

Rozina Pátkai ‎- Paraíso Na Terra

Rozina Pátkai ‎- Paraíso Na Terra (Tom-Tom Records, 2016)

Paraíso Na Terra is the second album by Rozina Pátkai, a Hungarian vocalist and graphic artist deeply influenced by Brazilian music. She sings in Portuguese, Spanish, English and French.

The songs on Paraíso Na Terra are poems and lyrics by Brazilian, Hungarian, Spanish and other writers. The musical arrangements combine soft, warm vocals with exquisite jazz, Brazilian, Hungarian and Spanish influences along with catchy pop and smooth jazz saxophone. The use of cimbalom adds a fascinating edge to Rozina Pátkai’s sound.

The artwork in the CD booklet was designed by Rozina and includes the lyrics presented in various creative ways.

Buy the digital edition of Paraíso Na Terra


Exquisite, Timeless Jobim

Mario Adnet and Paulo Jobim – Jobim Orchestra & Guests (Adventure Music, 2017)

Jobim Orchestra & Guests celebrates the music of Antônio Carlos Jobim (Tom Jobim), one of the greatest composers of bossa nova and Brazilian popular music. This project is led by acclaimed composer and arranger Mario Adnet and Antônio Carlos Jobim’s son, composer Paulo Jobim.

In a previous project, symphonic Jobim, Mario and Paulo recreated Jobim’s material through a classical music perspective. On this new recording, Jobim Orchestra & Guests, the arrangers move towards bossa nova and orchestral jazz featuring a jazz ensemble and strings.

The album is based on a study by the Antônio Carlos Jobim Institute, a institution that holds the original manuscripts of musical scores and arrangements. Adnet wrote seven new arrangements and adapted four scores originally written by German conductor, composer and arranger Claus Ogerman.

Jobim Orchestra & Guests also includes two original arrangements and three original compositions by Paulo Jobim, two of which were recorded by Antônio Carlos Jobim in the 1970s.

The list of guest instrumentalists and vocalists is impressive, featuring some of the finest musicians in the Rio de Janeiro scene.

The album includes Jobim’s most iconic songs, including the all-time favorite Águas de Março, Desafinado, Chega de Saudade, Falando de Amor, and many more.

The lineup on Jobim Orchestra & Guests includes Yamandu Costa on 7-string guitar; Alfredo del Penho on guitar; Marcos Nimrichter on piano; Antonia Adnet on guitar and vocals; Mario Adnet on guitar; Paulo Jobim on guitar; Jorge Helder on bass; Antonio Neves on drums; Armando Marçal on percussion; Eduardo Neves on flute; Henrique Band on flute and baritone saxophone; Paulo Guimaraes on flute and alto flute; Cristiano Alves on clarinet and bass clarinet; Adalto Soares on French horn and trumpet; Aquiles Moraes on flugelhorn; Everson Moraes on trombone.

Vocals: Alice Caymmi; Alfredo del Penho; Luiz Pié; Júlia Vargas; Antonia Adnet; Paulo Jobim; Mario Adnet; Vicente Nucci; Dora Morelenbaum; Isabel Jobim; Maucha Adnet; and Isabella de Fonseca.

Strings section:

Violins: Claudio Cruz; Adonhiran Reis; Felipe Prazeres; Priscila Rato; Tomaz Soares; Luisa Neiva; Angélica Areias; Ricardo Amado; Gustavo Menezes; Fabio Peixoto; Thiago Teixeira; and Rudá Issa.
Violas: Gabriel Marin; Daniel Prazeres; Ricardo Taboada; and Thais Mendes.
Cellos: Alceu Reis; Marcus Ribeiro; Marcelo Salles; and Marie Bernard.
Basses: Rodrigo Fávaro; Larissa Coutrim.

Jobim Orchestra & Guests includes a DVD with interviews, masterfully-directed video versions of the songs and behind the scenes footage.

Jobim Orchestra & Guests is an exquisite recording that showcases outstanding recreations of the timeless, classic songs of Tom Jobim and the rich talent of the current Rio de Janeiro music scene.


Ive Mendes and the Bossa Nova Repertoire

Ive Mendes – Photo by Paulina Tendera


Music criticism does not derive from musical censorship; it is based on conventional rules. Ive Mendes performed in Krakow at a jazz festival; criticism, according to convention, is based on the fact that Ive does not sing a jazz; therefore, in accordance with the same neat convention, I assert that the organizers acted… unconventionally.

The world music scene, like many other spheres of culture and art, is created basically in one of two ways: bottom-up or top-down. The story of a typical bottom-up musician begins somewhere in the home, a school, a small town, a musical family, often poor and devoid of cultural roots; this is the story of many masters of jazz, as described in biographies and memoirs. The story of typical musicians whose careers are built top-down usually starts a little later, not in childhood but in early adulthood. Wherever a business, a manager, or ready-made material for a record appears, it’s only a question of finding someone to perform the material on stage.

About Ive Mendes, one thing can be stated with certainty: she is a typical product of the global policies of the music scene, the product of interventions by an entire staff of managers, arrangers, and other members of a “shadow cabinet” who stand proudly (not without reason!) behind her success. This time it was Kevin Armstrong, the producer of Mendes’s latest album, who was promoted to the head of this cabinet. Nothing like this is possible in the jazz field, where musicians make their choices strictly according to musical criteria, and a stage-managed career is an absolute contradiction in terms.

Ive possesses a powerfully crafted charm and grace in the visual sphere. It is precisely her superficiality that affirms the misleading conviction that she comes from Brazil, yet it is indeed difficult to perceive any connotations from the musical culture of the region from which she originated. The artist herself does not conceal her inspirations, mentioning a fairly wide range of essentially pop music styles: “… I learned that I have a natural facility for moving from bossa nova to smooth pop, drum & bass, and even alternative country. After all, I’m a farmer’s daughter.” [www.newsweek.pl]. Unfortunately, in the same breath she adds bossa nova to this eclectic mix. The problem is that even if we can (though we need not) think of smooth pop, drum & bass, or “alternative country”—whatever that is—as mere categories of arrangements, that is, for the creation of hybrid sound forms (as Ive basically has made use of these styles, though in a different way than, e.g., jazzmen do, using groovy or funk rhythms and R&B just for some kind of dance fun, likewise “ontic background” for improvisation, etc.), bossa nova itself cannot be treated so freely. Indeed, the concept of bossa nova encompasses a deeper philosophy. It is a unique combination of samba and jazz.

The self-proclaimed comparison of Ive to João Gilberto smacks—to put it politely—of immodesty. And indeed, if Ive actually had something in common with bossa nova—apart from “reciting” a few standards—it might salvage her image as an artist fit to share a stage with artists of improvisational music. This, however, is not the case. Ive, in essence, does not understand bossa nova at all.
These are not the only reasons why I state that Ive Mendes is largely a phenomenon of the modern music industry, in which vocal talent is exploited for the benefit of a mass audience. A mass audience at the Jazz Festival? This is, of course, possible, thanks to, among others, Ive. The boundaries of jazz in Poland are not clearly visible to a public which accepts a rather pop Kenny G performance, often with just as much satisfaction as it would Kenny Garret or Nigel Kennedy, and similar case with Ive Mendes vs Kurt Elling. The Polish, indeed European, and perhaps even global (in the era of globalization) mass audience, while occasionally needing to commune with elegance, is thoroughly democratic. And that is a shame, because democracy does not serve the cause of high art. Thus my criticism concerns not Ive Mendes herself, but her presence on a jazz stage.

As a vocal star, Ive obscures the musical potential of the songs with “literary” quality and linguistic content. I am not thinking here at all of the lyrics (which play a less essential role in jazz in any case) of the songs, but of her stage presence. That is, Ive greatly expands the entr’actes, I mean the never-ceasing patter between songs, which at times took the form of motivational coaching, gave the impression of being an integral part of the artistic performance, whereas the songs seemed merely to supplement her verbal tirades, which many of the ladies present in the hall received with blushes of embarrassment.


Ive Mendes – Photo by Paulina Tendera


Thus, Ive’s performance consists of, first and foremost, a kind of refined dance-calling; second, songs; and, in the background, arranging and musical potential, which usually remain strictly in the realm of the potential. For Ive, music seems to be effortless; it is not an area of great concern or creativity. Sounds, for her, are primarily a matter of a fixed esthetic framework of correctness in which her emotions occur (even if they are exploited extramusically). Ive sings safely within proven registers beyond which she consistently refuses to venture, avoids improvisation (or feigns it), while the band (and after all, Ive has a live band on stage: a smooth rhythm section, violin, cello, etc.), apart from the correct performance of sometimes arduously executed arrangements, is reduced to the role of a karaoke backing track.

There is no room here for improvisation and musical freedom; Ive does not play at all with her voice, with sounds, or with rhythm in the sense of musicality (as deeply understood). Instead, her show is reminiscent of harvest festivals, but obscured by a snobbish veil of supposedly higher culture, while deprived of the vibrancy and unpretentious naturalness of country bands. Ive’s performance is so smooth that she loses, in the correctness of the performances, a whole range of expressive musical possibilities, substituting non-musical stage theatricality, whereas the songs themselves, differing very little from studio recordings, are so safe that they sound like something played on a boombox in an adjoining room. I also have the compelling impression that Ive often sings out of tune, slightly below the correct note. Perhaps this is a question of wrong stage listening monitor setup, but the effect is permanent: she sings consistently sharp.

Ive, however, has several patented theatrical devices up her sleeve to exert a narcotic effect on the emotion-seeking audience. She possesses the ability to stimulate the emotions of a large crowd with two or three stage tricks. Undoubtedly, she also possesses an original voice, with a characteristically deep, rather low, vibrating, sensual color. There is a distant similarity to Sade, and, still more distant, to Cassandra Wilson, but without their musical consciousness, personality, or charisma. Other aspects which attract attention include her stage image, exotic beauty (probably the most authentic aspect of her Brazilian heritage), outfits, mysterious gestures, movements, dances, etc. This is essentially a good recipe for the conquest of the unsophisticated heart of a standardized, democratic listener.

In Krakow, the singer performed the repertoire from her latest album, Bossa Romantica, about which she says in one of many interviews: “This is music characterized by complex chords and rhythm guitar in a free samba rhythm. I made this music in the same way that João Gilberto created bossa nova: trying to create versions of American songs in a specific way, in a Brazilian atmosphere.” [www.polskatimes.pl]. The album was supposedly created under British (Ive recently obtained British citizenship) and Brazilian influence, which Mendes often mentions (although the comparison to Gilberto is lip service as well as an exaggeration) along with the musical inspiration of smooth jazz (or rather, perhaps, smooth pop), with which the singer is also identified. These were, I believe, her intentions, but their effect can be described simply as free eclecticism. Her album is not a very good example of World Music; no matter whether it draws from Brazil, England, or “smooth,” the esthetic and artistic effect of this album was a foregone conclusion before Ive entered the studio. It betrays her superficiality, the excessive esthetization of her style, idealized romanticism, and the renunciation of harsh or folk-derived elements.

Among other songs from the album Bossa Romantica, Ive performs covers like “The Girl from Ipanema.” This performance, however, blends in with the overall character of her music, blurring in places the expressive syncopation of bossa nova which we associate even with the singing of Astrud Gilberto. Freshness, lightness, and the aforementioned unpretentiousness are also lost. Another cover, “Killing Me Softly,” is played for no apparent reason, or, as already mentioned, as a sure-fire heartbreaker, completely devoid of expression or of any ideas.

In jazz, performing standards makes some sense, if only in terms of musicians making use of familiar themes for further musical exploitation. Themes are only pretexts, or gateways to great adventures on the verge of beginning. With Ive, everything starts and ends with the theme. This would make sense, of course, if the artist proved the value of her contribution to the work, if the listener at least discovered individual hallmarks of musical expression. With Ive, this never happens. This is not another beautiful rendition, as we hear with Perry Como, Roberta Flack, or even the pop Fugees. Instead, Ive turns it into hack work, potboiler gig, potboiler gig, a number trotted out for shows like The X Factor.



Ive Mendes says that her voice works in many styles. Certainly the concert at Krakow’s ICE Arena was a good showcase of her vocal abilities and her typical stage esthetics. Her emotions are expressed primarily extramusically; they are naively feminine, romantic … which means that her repertoire appeals to the taste of many—but not to fans of jazz, improvised music, or (as widely understood) world music.

Ive Mendes deserves a much more favorable review, on the condition that we evaluate her in terms of pop music, though here I am not referring to great pop music artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, or female celebrities to which Mendes might be compared, such as Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston, the quasi-Latino Shakira, or even Lady Gaga. She is not in that league, but rather in a class with festivals of the Eurovision type, connoisseurs of soap operas … in Poland, Ive can also count on fans with a sentimental attachment to the old Brazilian serial feature A escrava Isaura [Isaura the Slave Girl], whose main heroine recalls Ive to mind.

In the press there are many extremely passionate positive opinions about the work of Ive Mendes; thus the present critical opinion, expressed here with the conviction of its justice, may serve as a badly-needed counterbalance in contemporary reflections on music.