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Leny Andrade, The Best Of (Live)

2011 | Label: Music Brokers / The Orchard

Leny Andrade has a voice as big as the world. It wouldn’t be out of the question, upon first hearing it, to wonder how she’s able to maneuver this weighty instrument through the slippery rhythmic twists and turns of Brazilian music, sambas and bossa novas being all about elision and sibilance. Andrade has strategies to deal with the incongruity between the heft of her voice and the airiness of her music. She starts by having a well-drilled band that relieves her from the burden of carrying more than she has… more »

Seu Jorge and Almaz, Seu Jorge and Almaz

2010 | Label: Now Again Records

While Brazilian samba revivalist Seu Jorge had already released two expertly crafted albums by 2004, it was only when Wes Anderson's camera zoomed in on the singer-songwriter perched on the prow of the Belafonte in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou that many westerners took notice. Jorge's deft interpretations of David Bowie classics like "Life on Mars" and "Space Oddity" into his native tongue for the soundtrack were revelatory, as nifty an equator-crossing reinterpretation trick as Señor Coconut doing Latin updates of Kraftwerk or Nouvelle Vague's providing humid… more »

Kassin+2, Futurismo

1999 | Label: Luaka Bop

Some of the most intriguing Brazilian pop in recent memory has come from the Plus Two project of guitarist Kassin, multi-instrumentalist Moreno Veloso and drummer Domenico Lancelloti. They have already produced the precision punk bossa of Moreno Veloso's (aka Moreno +2) "Electric Typewriter" and the restless bleeding-edge funk of Domenico +2's "Sincerely Hot." For Futurismo, the last announced in the Plus Two trilogy, Kassin takes the lead.

The Plus Two records have succeeded so well because they apply the same aesthetic of absorption and reinvention that has defined the greatest music… more »