Fernanda Cunha: Olhos De Mar

Dan McClenaghan By

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The Brazilian sounds, Samba and Bossa Nova, washed over the United States like a wave in the early sixties. American saxophonist Stan Getz, in his collaborations with Brazilian artists Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto, on Getz/Gilberto (Verve Records, 1962) and American guitarist Charlie Byrd, on Jazz Samba (Verve Records, 1962) can take a good deal of the credit. The craze culminated, perhaps, with the radio hit "The Girl From Ipanema," from the Getz/Gilberto disc, featuring a lovely and dispassionate vocal by Astrud Gilberto.

Jobim, who was so crucial in that formation of that early wave, has been extensively covered and re-worked over the decades, but Brazilian vocalist Fernanda Cunha, on Olhos de Mar has chosen to cover previously unreleased songs by contemporary songwriters from Brazil: Antonio Adolfo, Cristovao Basto, Carlinhos Vergueiro Gonzaga and more.

Cunha and the composers carry the tradition well. There is a gentleness and simplicity to the Brazilian sound. It is a music without artiface or a hint of grandstanding. Piano, guitar, bass, drums, with an emotive singer out front, and rhythms that flow like a peaceful stream.

The opening cut, "Dando Um Tempo" (composer Carlinhos Vergueiro) has a bright piano sparkle behind Cunha's forthright vocal. The title cut (composers Cristovao Bastos/Nelson Wellington) explores gorgeous ballad territory, and "Saudades De Voce," penned by Reg Schwager and Fernanda Cunha sounds sort of like an undiscovered American Standard, sung in Portugese.

An enchanting, soothing set of contemporary tunes from Brazil.

Track Listing: Dando De Tempo; Ohlhos De Mar; AmDor E Nada Mais; Floresta Azul; Manha Mineira; Naquele Outono; Saudade De Voce; Verao; Misteriosa; Pode Ser Que Eu Fique Dessa Vez

Personnel: Fernanda Cunha: voice; Cristovao Bastos: piano, fender rhodes; Ze Carlos: guitar; Edson Ghilardi: drums; Jorjao Carvalho: bass.

Title: Olhos de mar | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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