A very cool collection of female bossa nova records – one that really goes way past the usual! First up is Bossa Classica by Caterina Valente – a German singer by birth, but one who was really open to new styles from around the world – including lots of jazz, Latin, and Brazilian modes too! The set was recorded in Germany, with backings by Werner Muller – but the style is right up there with the best bossa charts of the time – set up with acoustic guitar in the lead, some light strings, and often some cool woodwind touches that spark the tunes with color while Valente sings in Portuguese, Italian, French, Spanish, and English. Titles include "Fale Baixinho", "Bruxeira", "Aquarela Do Brasil", "Bahia", "Samba Di Una Nota", "Chanson Sur Un Seule Note", and "Le Chapeau De Paille". Next up is the Joia Moderna album by Alaide Costa – served up in that wonderful mix of jazz, samba, and bossa that makes her 60s recordings so great! There's a nice current of melancholy to the music at times – one that almost links Costa to an earlier generations of singers – but many numbers have light and lively instrumentation that really sets her vocals free – creating a lightness in the music that's also carried through in the lyrics – at a level that made Alaide a very important influence at the time, even though she might not be as well-remembered all these many years later. The set features musical help from Baden Powell and Oscar Castro Neves – and titles include "Samba De Nos Dois", "Se Foi Passado", "Ponto Final", "Encontro Com A Saudade", "Cancao Do Amor Sem Fim", "Gosto Do Seu Olhar", and "Lagrima". Next up is a full album of Antonio Carlos Jobim songs by Brazilian singer Maysa. The sound here is sad and dark – almost in the mode of some of the more obscure US vocalists of the late 50s, the post-June Christy
crowd who took bits of jazz woven with their own sadness, and worked in a much darker style than the pop singers of the day. In a way, Maysa sounds best of all in this mode – and we almost like these albums more than some of her later, more famous work. Orchestrations are a mix of strings and woodwinds, handled by Enrico Simonetti – and titles include "Dindi", "Caminhos Cruzados", "As Praias Desertas", "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar", "Por Causa De Voce", "Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Voce", and "Meditacao". Last up is a selection of tracks sung by and inspired by Dolores Duran – an important Brazilian singer in the pre-bossa years – but one who continued to have an impact on that generation too. Dolores sings "Solidao", "Estranho Amor", "Por Causa De Voce", "Fim De Caso", and "A Noite Do Meu Bem" – and the set also features eleven more songs written by Duran, sung by artists who include Maysa, Lucio Alves, Trio Irakitan, Dick Farney, and Elizeth Cardoso.