Like most Putumayo compilations, Festa Brasil is a fairly good starting point for anyone interested in exploring Brazilian music. Twelve artists, a comprehensive set of liner notes describing each one and their contribution to Brazilian music. The selection, while a bit on the tame side, is unquestionably good. Gal Costa’s “Chiclete com Banana” — originally a Jackson de Pandeiro tune — is an interesting twist, typically Brazilian in its integration of disparate elements, a nice ironic twist given the song’s message of equal footing for Brazilian and American styles. If you’re interested in the broad variety of music and styles Brazil has to offer, this is one of the best introductions I’ve heard in a while. Some of Brazilian music’s masters — Gilberto, Jobim et al — are strangely absent, as are some of more recently emerging electronic acts, but you can easily track those down once you’re hooked on the sound.