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Rosa Passos: Amorosa

Elliott Simon By

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Recent projects with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and bassist Ron Carter have given Brazilian vocalist/guitarist Rosa Passos wider and much deserved recognition. With the release of Amorosa, the long time queen of Brazilian bossa nova has offered up one of the most titillating CDs of the year.

Amorosa features new arrangements of songs associated with Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, two seminal figures in the creation of bossa nova from samba and jazz. But most importantly, it allows Passos to highlight vocal and instrumental skills that exude a cultured yet innocent sensuality. Ms. Passos has chosen wisely in keeping percussionist Cyro Baptista as part of her ensemble. His rhythms, along with work by drummer Paulo Braga, pianist Helio Alves and bassist Paulo Palulelli, set up a delicate backdrop for her perfect guitar and quietly enchanting vocals as she conveys the graceful interplay of emotions that make bossa nova so alluring. Joining the core rhythm section on various cuts is Rodrigo Ursaia, who, like Stan Getz, shows how sax and bossa nova were made for each other. Likewise, clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera artfully blends a touch of swing with these rhythms on the bouncy "O Pato."

It is Passos, however, who through her combination of vocal quality and ideal phrasing, be it on pieces like the smoothly self-composed tribute "Essa E Pr'o Joáo," the quickly moving "Eu Sambo Mesmo," or her lushly romantic rendering of the classic "Besame Mucho" turns this into such an arresting session. Bonuses include a duet with 87-year-old French vocalist Henri Salvador and an appearance by Yo-Yo Ma on Jobim's "Chega De Saudade."

Track Listing: 01. Voce Vai Ver 02. Wave 03. Besame Mucho 04. Pra Que Discutir Com Madame 05. Lobo Bobo 06. O Pato 07. Retrato Em Branco e Preto 08. Eu Sambo Mesmo 09. Esse e Pro Joao 10. Que Resta-T-ll De Nos Amores 11. S' Wonderful 12. Chega de Sadaude

Personnel: Rosa Passos (vocals, guitar), Paquito D'Rivera (clarinet), Rodrigo Ursaia (saxophone), Helio Alves (piano), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Paulo Paulelli (bass), Paulo Braga (drums), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Henri Salvador (vocals)

Title: Amorosa | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sony Classical

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