Music Reviews

Putumayo Presents

Samba Bossa Nova


It is amazing the hold Brazilian music has on the American imagination. From Carmen Miranda to Jobim and Sergio Mendes to today’s lounge sound that borrows so heavily from Brazil, there should be tariffs on the music, we can never get enough of the South American country. Perhaps it’s the erotic fantasy of Rio or the calm, seductive rhythm that penetrates the music as opposed to our own frenetic pace that really draws us. It’s hard to say. Whatever it is, Brazilian music also has a hold on Putumayo, Samba Bossa Nova being the label’s fifth exploration solely dedicated to the country’s various sounds (with three other discs also offering up samples).

The new sound in Brazil is quite old. Abandoning the milky, schlock synthesizers that plagued so much ’80s music, Brazil’s vanguard has retreated to its roots like its bluegrass counterparts have in the States. The result is pure beauty – like the moist, electrically-charged air before a tropical storm. One would have to be a Jesuit to resist this disc. With songs from (the goddess) Rosa Passos, Da Lata, Rita Ribeiro, and Moreno Veloso, it is impossible not to melt into the butter of this CD. You would be doing your heart, your soul, your sex a disservice by not picking up Samba Bossa Nova. Besides, who wants to be a Jesuit, anyway?


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