Jul 14 2004


An Introduction Like No Other


BrasileiroWhether you are already familiar with Brazilian music or this is your first time listening to this fascinating and rhythmic genre of World Music, Brasileiro will most definitely appeal to your taste. Compiling a multi-artist release can be a difficult task, especially when there are already several other compilations in the market. Nevertheless, Putumayo World Music has assembled some of the best songs and performers in the varied repertoire of Brazilian rising as well as well-known stars, such as Beth Carvalho, Martinho da Vila and Chico Buarque. It also includes some Brazilian performers living outside of Brazil.

Brasileiro opens with three tracks performed by artists probably mostly unknown to many Brazilians: Silvia Torres, Celso Machado and Nazaré Pereira. They have more in common than the mere denominator that they are making their careers outside of Brazil. They are artistically representing Brazil and taking Brazilian music to the corners of the world. Silvia Torres opens with Carlinhos Brown’s “Take Saravá,” a song filled with Brown’s characteristic English and Portuguese word play and rhythm. However, contrary to most of Brown’s percussive arrangements, the guitar solos here are definitely distinct and invigorating. They will remind you of João Bosco’s style, who is also present in the CD. With Celso Machado’s own “Despedida,” a Brazilian northeastern influence is more apparent, even though Machado is a São Paulo native. Born in a musical family, Machado has always shown a fascination withcôcoembolada and other Brazilian folkloric styles. Yet another folkloric style, a bumba-meu-boi is sung by Nazaré Pereira in Almizinho Gabriel’s “Clarão de Lua.”

After this brief introduction, Brasileiro brings more well-known names in Brazilian music. With the same freshness and appeal in the arrangements, all tracks contain a certain edge in each performer’s rendition. Take, for example, João Bosco’s performance of Dorival Caymmi’s “Vatapá.” Bosco is capable of using his vocal techniques and guitar artistry to give “Vatapá” a more African-Brazilian feel. A similar innovative arrangement is found in Tom Jobim’s “Águas de Março.” Following the steps of the Bossa Nova master João Gilberto, Rosa Passos takes this song a notch higher. The soft drum and guitar introduction in “Canto das Três Raças” is the beginning of a Brazilian history lesson in the voice of the late samba singer Clara Nunes. The lyrics allude to the Portuguese, native Brazilian, and African races that form the Brazilian nation of today. The samba is infectious and irresistibly danceable. Chico César continues this history lesson with his own reggae tribute to Africa in “Mama África.” The journey progresses with forró, samba and choro.

As with other Putumayo releases, extra care is taken with every aspect of a CD, from the cover design to the comprehensive liner notes. Brasileiro is no exception. The beautiful art work by Nicola Heindl stands out and instantly catches your eyes. It also serves as an introduction of what you will find when you play the CD. The cover depicts elements and scenes from all regions in Brazil, a theme explored in the music presented here. Liner notes are a great companion to the excellent music presented in the CD, with the inclusion of short bios and song summaries. Brasileiro is an outstanding compilation of substance and seduction with a colorful and rhythmic portrait of Brazil’s vast musical history.

You can read more about Brasileiro and listen to song samples here.



Ptumayo World Music PUTU 150-2 (1999)
Time: 45’03”


  1. Take Saravá (Carlinhos Brown) – Silvia Torres
  2. Despedida (Celso Machado) – Celso Machado
  3. Clarão de Lua (Almizinho Gabriel) – Nazaré Pereira
  4. Vatapá (Dorival Caymmi) – João Bosco
  5. Águas de Março (Antônio Carlos Jobim) – Rosa Passos
  6. O Namorado da Viúva (Jorge Ben-Jor) – Jorge Ben
  7. Canto das Três Raças (Paulo César Pinheiro – Mauro Duarte) – Clara Nunes
  8. Mama África (Chico César) – Chico César
  9. Essas Emoções! (Donato Alves) – Zeca Baleiro
  10. Visgo de Jaca (Rildo Hora – Sérgio Cabral) – Martinho da Vila
  11. Dança da Solidão (Paulinho da Viola) – Beth Carvalho
  12. Cantando no Toró ( Chico Buarque) – Chico Buarque
  13. Berekerê (Geraldo Azevedo) – Geraldo Azevedo
A modified version of this review first appeared in Luna Kafé, May 1999.