For insatiable lovers of Brasilian music, such as myself, it’s always a pleasure to discover a new artist or group which purveys the genuine, unadulterated goods with a fresh new voice.
Brasil & Company offers just such a pleasure. The program on their self-titled debut is a well-chosen blend of the familiar (Jobim’s “Meditation” and “Double Rainbow,” Horta’s “Gershwin”) and several originals by guitarist Paul Meyers and pianist Cidinho Teixeira. Vera Mara, who sings fluently in both Portuguese and English, has an unusually agile voice; she leaps wide intervals and negotiates darting, acrobatic lines with precision and apparent ease. Guitarist Paul Meyers and the various percussionists provide just the right gentle, seductive rhythmic pulse that Brazilian music calls for. While the focal points are Mara and Meyers, various guest instrumentalists, soloing on one tune each, add nice sonic variety. Standouts include David Sacks on trombone (“Julia”), Bob Kindred on tenor sax (“Amor Proibido”), Paulo Levi on soprano sax (“Malicia”) and flautist Cecilia Tenconi, who doubles Mara’s vocal lines on the frenetic “1 to 0”. (Cathexis 93-0009)