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Singing in Portuguese & English, and hop-scotching her way around wordless vocals, Tania Maria takes a ton of built-in, high-voltage energy with her everywhere she goes. From Northern Brazil, she's lived in Europe and the U.S., while gaining popularity for her unique style. Samba and romantic dance blend naturally with her perky piano and syncopated vocal offerings. She's performed all over the world for some 30 years now. This recent performance of Tania Maria and the Viva Brazil Quartet comes after over twenty albums.
It's a live recording, and Tania Maria's voice projection doesn't get its due. Her voice appears to be farther off: at a distance. Nevertheless, this performance finds her in top form, using her voice as an instrument - another member of the band. The wordless vocals she contributes on "Granada" make her a convincing agent. Whistling on "Valeu," the singer takes it to a different level. Tania Maria makes the music come alive. When she sings in unison with her keyboard, we get a bright, resonant sound. Her energy translates into fascinating rhythms and joyful sambas, even when pushed a little farther from the microphone than desired.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.