A Different Beat
In 2002 Rosa Passos took part in an important event at the Lincoln Center in New York. The event was Brasil Fest 2002 and was a tribute to Elis Regina. Azul brings Rosa Passos together with some of Elis Regina’s repertoire, several Djavan’s songs and a few other contemporary songwriters’ gems. The album is, in a nutshell, the most different of all Rosa Passos releases. Azul is still intimate and smooth (“Desenho de Giz” and “Aliás,” for example), but there is a lot more use of brass instrumentation in several tracks (“Samurai,” “Ladeira da Preguiça” and “Azul,” for example). The arrangements are for the most part more spirited, but we also hear blues (“Aliás” and “A Ilha”), smooth boleros (“Desenho de Giz,” “Papel Machê” and “Dois Pra Lá, Dois Pra Cá”) as well as sambas (“Mancada,” “Mar de Copacabana” and “Amor Até o Fim”).
At times the upbeat and brass arrangements sound a bit awkward for Rosa Passos’ delicate voice. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see her taking chances and going outside the usual intimate arrangement setting we are used to hearing her. At least to my ears, it is always very comforting when Rosa returns to familiar territory, such as in the opener, “Desenho de Giz,” or “Papel Machê.” Both arrangements are smooth boleros full of sensuality. Another daring rendition is “Dois Pra Lá, Dois Pra Cá,” the famous Bosco/Blanc song made famous by the late Elis Regina. Though the arrangement here is very straightforward, it is extremely difficult for anyone familiar with Elis’ rendition not to think about it. To end that song, Rosa does a nice vocalise solo that makes the arrangement very different from the usual “La Puerta” ending used by Elis Regina. Rosa still sings “La Puerta,” but she puts her own spin to it, and it is a nice surprise, I might add.
As for the sambas, Rosa is in her natural domain. All three Gilberto Gil’s sambas recorded here — “Mancada,” “Mar de Copacabana” and “Amor Até o Fim” — are nicely done. However, “Mancada” seems to fit like a glove for Rosa’s voice and style. It is a great rendition.
Velas 270.143 (2002)
- Desenho de Giz (Abel Silva – João Bosco)
- Samurai (Djavan)
- Aliás (Djavan)
- Papel Machê (Capinan – João Bosco)
- Mancada (Gilberto Gil)
- Ladeira da Preguiça (Gilberto Gil)
- Azul (Djavan)
- Quando o Amor Acontece (Abel Silva – João Bosco)
- Açaí (Djavan)
- A Ilha (Djavan)
- Mar de Copacabana (Gilberto Gil)
- Dois Pra Lá, Dois Pra Cá (João Bosco – Aldir Blanc )
- Amor Até o Fim (Gilberto Gil)