Apka ... CD Six Degrees, 2020. New Copy ...
Ceu seems to be an even stronger singer here than before – still able to drift in and out of an easygoing rhythm when she wants, but also more suited to take on tunes with a more soulful vibe – which includes a number of standout tunes that really make the record shine! There's still some of the nods towards older Brazilian styles that graced Ceu's earlier albums, but many of the numbers here sparkle with a more contemporary vibe – never overdone, but a nice blend of subtle rhythms and guitar lines from Pedro Sa – mostly moving at a midtempo pace that's just right for the vocals. Marc Ribot plays guitar on a few tracks, Seu Jorge guests on another, and titles include "Nada Irreal", "Coreto", "Forcar O Verao", "Corpocontinente", "Off", "Fenix Do Amor", and "Ocitocina". CD
A rare harmony pop set from 60s Brazil – very much in the mode of some of the other bigger groups of the bossa generation, like Quarteto Em Cy or Os Cariocas – but served up here by a group of mixed male and female singers! Rhythms are light and lively – a jazzy blend of samba and bossa – and the singers strongly take the lead, with criss-crossing vocals that really make the whole thing sparkle throughout! There's a bit of the warmth of American male/female harmony groups from the 50s, but the production and language are very Brazilian – and titles include "A Menina Da Tranca", "Moca Da Chuva", "Azul Contente", "O Que Eu Gosto De Voce", "Joao Sebestiao Bach", "Palhacada", and "Vozes E Flores". CD
An organ bossa classic from the legendary Eumir Deodato – one of his strongest albums from his early years in Brazil! There's a very jazzy feel to the set all the way through – thanks to a tightly arranged group that not only features the organ and percussion you might expect from such a date, but which also features some great horn work as well! Trombone, tenor, and baritone sax all get in some nice licks – and Deodato's organ cooks wonderfully throughout, often with a quick-stepping bossa jazz sound that really keeps things lively. Titles include "O Sol Nascera", "Samba Do Dom Natural", "Terra De Ninguem", "E Bom Parar", and "Ataque". CD
A different sort of record from late 60s Brazil – straighter pop, with a bit of jovem guarda instrumentation – but done with the Latin market in mind too, as all the lyrics here are in Spanish! Elizabeth is a pretty compelling singer – working with just the right hint of echo next to the organ and strings used in the backgrounds – and unlike some of her contemporaries, she's also a surprisingly strong songwriter – as most of the tunes on the record are by the lady herself! Titles include "Soy Loca Por Ti", "Tristeza Infinita", "El Amor Que No Es Para Mi", "No Hay Luna Ni Cielo Lindo", "Me Gusta Mismo Demas", and "Yo Estoy Amando". CD features the bonus track "Kiko". CD
Sweet 70s grooving from Brazilian singer Eva – a bit of soul, a bit of easy, all styled together nicely by orchestrations from the magical maestro Gaya! Gaya's work here is similar to his best backings for other artists in the Blue Brazil generation – a mix of American pop, post-bossa instrumentation, and in this case, some very slight electric touches – kind of hipping up the tunes a bit with some nice keyboards! The album's got a really nice version of "Moon River" that skips along at a nice pace – plus some great originals that offer a strong update to the sound of other Brazilian pop/post-bossa singers, like Doris Monteiro or Claudette Soares. Titles include "O Homem Do Tempo", "Vinte Leguas", "Na Baixa Do Sapateiro", "Olha Eu Aqui Oh Oh Oh", "Talisma", and Sonho Lindo". CD
A gem of a record from the same Pernambuco early 70s scene that gave us Lula Cortes, Ze Ramalho, Geraldo Azevedo, and Alceu Valenca! This obscure little set has lots of the earthier tones that showed up in work by the above artists – a style that mixes folksy touches with bits of psychedelia – kind of a north east answer to the growing sound from the Minas Geraes generation around Milton Nascimento. Many of the tunes here are fairly mellow – building slowly with an honest, earthy integrity – and mostly relying on acoustic instrumentation to carry the gentle poetry of the lyrics, but still coming across with enough of an edge to appeal to fans of stronger South American rock. Titles include "Canto Funebre", "O Tempo", "Noite", "Desespero", "Cancao De Outono", "Do Amigo", and "Romance Da Lua Lua". CD