How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Amid the driving back beats and Carnaval percussion, two singers combine jazz with Brazilian popular music for a good time and for authenticity. Although each has recorded separately, this is their second album together. Both sing in the alto range with compassion. Ana Gazzola sings with a smooth-toned, laid-back approach, while Sonia Santos performs in a rich, overtone-laden, percussive style. An established band performing Afro-Brazilian rhythms follows their every move and supports their storytelling with contemporary sounds. Together, the ensemble recalls the widespread popularity of Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. A brief video and sound clips from their recordings are available at http://www.BrasilBrazilShow.com .
Jobim’s "Aguas de Março" represents the duo’s light, bright vocal style, as they run through phrase after phrase of call & response. From a natural setting, the song is impressionistic and allows the pair to balance syncopation with meaningful phrasing. The up-tempo folk song "Tililingo," while suitable for happy feet, includes the sounds of accordion and acoustic guitar. Gazzola and Santos blend in close harmony, matching their articulation with the band’s percussive rhythms. "Fest na Floresta" brings the ensemble closer to jazz, with its driving rhythm, unique berimbau timbre, and subtle vocal improvisation. The mood is one of general celebration, but with relaxed participants. It’s convincing. The happiness Gazzola and Santos exude is contagious.