Feb 12 2012

Rosa Passos: É Luxo Só


Facing Challenges Successfully


É Luxo SóRosa Passos has recorded unforgettable music since her first album in 1979 (Recriação). Throughout the years and in fourteen solo albums she has also chosen at times to dedicate an entire release to one songwriter. In that vein, we were given songs by Dorival Caymmi (Rosa Passos Canta Caymmi), Antônio Carlos Jobim (Rosa Passos Canta Antônio Carlos Jobim – 40 Anos de Bossa Nova) and Ary Barroso (Letra & Música – Ary Barroso). In addition to albums with her own compositions and other Brazilian songwriters, one cannot overlook the tribute to her idol João Gilberto, Amorosa (2004). So, when a friend of hers suggested she records songs from Elizeth Cardoso, Rosa accepted the challenge and delved into the vast repertoire made famous in Elizeth’s voice. Rosa says that as she became more and more familiar with Elizeth’s songs, she saw how versatile a singer Elizeth was and how easy it seemed for Elizeth to sing such a varied repertoire. Having Rosa’s stamp on these songs now proves how versatile she also is.

Elizeth Cardoso (Rio de Janeiro, 1920-1990) was known in Brazil and the Divine, a moniker given to her by journalist Haroldo Costa. She was born close to Mangueira and at an early age she was influenced by musical parents and relatives. At age ten, she began working various jobs in order to assist her family. Later, at her 16th birthday, her family celebrated it and invited some important guests, including Pixinguinha, Dilermando Reis and Jacob do Bandolim among others. At the party, her uncle mentioned to Jacob do Bandolim that Elizeth knew how to sing a few songs and that perhaps they should arrange some performances for her. Jacob invited her for a test at Guanabara Radio along other well-known singers and songwriters, such as Aracy de Almeida, Vicente Celestino, Moreira da Silva, Noel Rosa and Marília Batista. That was not only the beginning of a lifetime friendship with Jacob do Bandolim but it was also the start of her brilliant career. Among the dozens of albums she released in her 40-year singing career, many were landmark recordings in Brazilian music. Perhaps the most famous of all was the anthologic 1958 Canção do Amor Demais. The album is considered the mark of Bossa Nova because of her performances and also João Gilberto’s acoustic guitar accompaniment.


Lula Galvão, Rosa Passos, Jorge Helder, Rafael Barata

É Luxo Só opens with Vicente Paiva’s “Olhos Verdes,” a beautiful samba that Elizeth recorded in her 1956Noturno album. From the Cartola songbook, two magnificent gems are performed by Rosa: “As Rosas Não Falam” and “Acontece.” Noel Rosa is also present with two classics: “Último Desejo” and “Três Apitos.”

The acoustic trio formation Rosa chose to record these timeless classics could not have been any better. Her longtime colleague Lula Galvão is in charge of the arrangements and is also responsible for the incredible acoustic guitar solos and accompaniment in the album. On bass, Jorge Helder was not just the right choice, but the best there is, of course. Jorge recently received the 2011 Latin Jazz Corner’s Latin Jazz Bassist of the Year for his performances in the 2011 Latin Jazz Corner’s Latin Jazz Album of the Year, Antonio Adolfo’s Chora Baião. Wrapping it up on drums and percussion, we hear Rafael Barata, who should be a familiar name to MB readers, as he is a member of the Marcos Amorim Trio and was also recently featured in Mario Adnet’s+Jobim Jazz and several other albums.

Elizeth Cardoso



Rosa Passos
É Luxo Só
Biscoito Fino BF135-2 (2011)
Time: 44’40”


  1. Olhos Verdes (Vicente Paiva)
  2. As Rosas Não Falam (Cartola)
  3. O Amor e a Rosa (Pernambuco – Antonio Maria)
  4. Último Desejo (Noel Rosa)
  5. Palhaçada (Haroldo Barbosa – Luís Reis)
  6. Acontece (Cartola)
  7. Diz Que Fui Por Aí (Zé Ketti)
  8. Saia do Caminho (Custódio Mesquita – Evaldo Rui)
  9. Três Apitos (Noel Rosa)
  10. É Luxo Só (Ary Barroso – Luís Peixoto)