If you love the bossa sound as I do, then I will not have to say anything else about "Red Hot in Rio" other than the list of stunning musicians on this one album is awesome. What about Astrud Gilberto, George Michael, Incognito, Everything but the girl, Tom Jobim, Sting, Herbie Mann, Anna Caram, Flora Purim, Airto, Marisa Monte, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil to namedrop a few.
This mix of traditional grooves and upfront Brazilian masterpieces would be welcome to any bossa fan but many of the songs have been reworked, like the classic "Corcovado" or the dreamy duet by Astrud and George on Stan Getz’s "Desfinado". Crystal Waters performs a high powered up-tempo version of "The Boy from Ipanema" Tom Jobim teams up with Sting to shine on Tom’s "How Insensitive" which can be found on Jobim’s "Braziliero" set and David Byrne joins Marisa Monte on "Waters of March" which is the theme tune from the movie "The Adventurers" a song made famous by Sergio Mendes in the seventies.
The most beautiful track on the album for me is the stunning "Segurana" featuring "Maxwell" which is a vibes and sax led bolero type midnight groove which is reason itself to buy this collection.
The Incognito / Omar / Anna Caram version of "Agua de Beber" is a flute led light and breezy drifter with traditional Brazilian percussion providing a Nippy Noya / Mamao style backdrop.
It’s hard to produce a Brazilian album without the influence of Tom Jobim and "Red Hot in Rio" is no different. Some purists may say that this is no way to treat the wonderful music and culture that Jobim gave to us but this collection tries to bridge the gap between then and now and in many cases does it wonderfully.
If you have always thought that bossa nova music was too tame and regarded it as "elevator music" then this album may be a way for you to join the millions of already converted bossa fans who enjoy this magical sound