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Various Artists: Acoustic Brazil

Woodrow Wilkins By

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Brazilians loathe to entertain the mere suggestion that their native music is jazz. However, the rhythms and melodies of traditional Brazilian music and some styles of North American jazz are so similar that a song from one genre can easily blend into the soundscape of the other—often without translation of lyrics or major changes in the instrumental arrangements.

Gal Costa's "Aquele Frevo Axe is a perfect example. This elegant, easy-going selection is the first track on Acoustic Brazil, a collection of twelve songs by various artists presented by Putumayo World Music. "Aquele Frevo Axe is a light melody that's typically Brazilian, but it could also be easily adapted into jazz.

Another jewel among jewels is "Moro Na Roca. Monica Salmaso pays homage to Clementina de Jesus, a granddaughter of African slaves who began singing professionally late in life after serving as a housekeeper for more than twenty years.

The album features a few artists who are well known in Brazil, but also several newcomers, as well as a few expatriates who have found a niche abroad but are unknown in their motherland. Among the latter is Marcio Faraco, who sings "Ciranda.

"We stumbled across Marcio about four years ago in a bar in Paris called the Blue Noite while visiting with Brazilian singer Nazare Pereira, says Putumayo producer Jacob Edgar. "The music scene in Brazil has a strong local flavor, and it's hard for expat Brazilian musicians to be successful in their homeland when they are not based there.

Comprised of simple yet beautiful rhythms, acoustic instruments, and Portuguese lyrics, these songs are romantic, soothing, and danceable—especially if you samba. And for those who purchase Acoustic Brazil, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to AMENCAR, an organization that promotes civil rights of children in Brazil.

Track Listing: Aquele Frevo Ax

Personnel: Gal Costa; Paulinho da Viola; Ana de Hollanda; M

Title: Acoustic Brazil | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Putumayo World Music

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