The list author says: "Brazilian female singers are among the FINEST singers on Earth. Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) songs sung in Portuguese need no translation since they readily transmit the emotions and the sensuality of the artist and songwriter. These are some of my favorites, some of which have been suggested by musician friends in Brazil who are immersed in this wonderful music. I hope you find something NEW and WONDERFUL to enjoy!! (All performances are in Brazilian Portuguese, except where noted)."
"On a scale of 1 to 5, "Aquarela Do Brasil" (Watercolors of Brazil) is a SIX !! Super-diva Elis Regina with jazz master Toots Thielemans on a superb CD with a great version of "O Barquinho" (The Little Boat), as a smoldering ballad, that may set off your smoke detector. Recorded during a 'howling snowstorm' in Stockholm Sweden, the studio musically became a sultry, sunlit Brazilian beach!!"
"Super-diva Ivete Sangalo, with a marvelous voice and a 'killer' body in skin-snug black leather & boots, mesmerizes one of the largest audiences in history at MaracanÃ£ Stadium in Rio with a jaw-dropping DVD spectacle!. An HD TV delight. In Portuguese with English subtitles of all songs and conversation. 3 fleeting risque but humorous moments with clean lyrics. "Abalou" (Let's rock!)"
"The FIRST Brazilian Diva: a great singer, triumphing in movies & Broadway in the 30s-50s, captivating Brazil and the USA. She held the record sales crown until Elis Regina's mega-hit "Arrastao" (Pull the Fishing Net). Very rhythmic & humorous but Carmen was a tremendous singer, born in Portugal & raised in Rio. Historic addition to your collection. Now today's ladies..."
"The FIRST Bossa Nova singer, preceding Astrud Gilberto. A great singer/actress, the song "Elizeth" by Cal Tjader was the first US Bossa Nova song. Here "Cancao Do Amor Demais", "Chega de Saudade" (No More Blues), & "Otra Vez" are excellent."
"Brazilian Super Divas in a A SPECTACULAR DVD from the 80s, including Gal Costa, Simone, Elis Regina, Maria Bethania, Rita Lee, et al. Wonderful introduction to MPB: each singer gets one performance. Simone's voice (and hair) on "ComeÃ§ar de Novo" steal the show!!! Very Essential DVD, STUNNING PERFORMANCES!! English subtitles from start to finish."
"Great DVD surveying Maria Rita's 3 CDs of samba & MPB in front of a wild nosh pit. "Conta Outra" (Tell Me Another Story), "Cria" (Son), "Cara Valente" (Brave Guy) are high energy performances. The audience sings along. "Encontros e Despedidas" is overpowering. No bare feet, a few new tattoos, and a 'vision of loveliness' in high heels. Doing mom Elis proud. "Corpitcho" ('Fine' Body), indeed."
"The incomparable Joyce sings the songs associated with her great friend, the late great Elis Regina. Joyce was finally revealed as the composer of "Essa Mulher" after years of uncertainty and she sings it here in Elis' honor with "Up Neguinho", "Folhas Secas" & "Aquerela do Brasil": Mulgrew Miller, Joe Lovano."
"Super-diva Elis Regina and super multi-instrumentalist & Hermeto Paschoal in duet on "Garota De Ipanema" (Girl from Ipanema), live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, taking this song through twists and turns never heard before. The best version of this song ever and nowhere near being a bossa nova. In Portuguese & English. Hermeto's piano is heroic and sensitive. WOW!! But mostly it's Elis & Co."
"A great DVD of the legendary vocalist/pianist of MPB, BRock, samba, and pop. Leila has a very emotional & intelligent approach to making her music. Whether with her wonderful group, or in a mesmerizing duo with guitar, or her solo piano and voice, don't miss Leila, Her voice is magic. Beautiful cinematography with English subtitles."
"Another great DVD by the very beautiful Marisa Monte, displaying her wonderful art from some seminal early performances. Sometimes controversial and known for pushing the envelope, her marvelous music is some of the best available in Brazil and well worth the effort to find and enjoy. Alone with her guitar or with full orchestra, she's great. English subtitles!!"
"Gal Costa is MPB greatness!!! The song "India" is just superb, slowly building to a thrilling climax, Gal Costa's angelic voice delivers the goods as only she can on this auto-biographical CD. One of Brazil's all-time greatest singers who helped found Tropicalia. One of Brazil's GREATEST voices."
"Simone has one of the most exotic, beautiful voices in all of Brazil and she sings Milton Nascimento's "Milagre Dos Peixes" (Miracle of the Fishes) with Milton himself guesting in a thrilling duet with a 'dolphin chase' ending. Simone was born to sing this swirling, beautiful song. Plus her work with Guinga, Kiko, et al. herein."
"The award-winning Nana Caymmi, from the famous Caymmi/Maris family, with her remarkably beautiful & liquid voice, is one of a kind and her haunting version of "Rosa Morena" (Dark Rose) is great, with Joao Donato and Toninho Horta creating some musical levitation. "Que Bonita Voce" (Oh, How lovely you are!) Indeed!!"
"Brazil's elegant, multi-lingual chanteuse, Zizi Possi, delivers a great CD demonstrating her mastery of both songs and English. "Ruby" is the best version I have EVER heard, with Zizi getting inside of the English lyrics like no one else has. She also sings the Beatles and Bob Marley here. Sung totally and beautifully in English."
"On the beautiful "Bossa" CD, the multi-lingual Zizi sings a sensational, nuanced "Yo Tengo Un Nuevo Pecaso" (I Have A New Sin) in Spanish with a full orchestra and a great floating arrangement. And yes, she is the mother of Luiza Possi. "Ai CariÃ±o", indeed."
"Zelia Duncan (aka Zelia Christina), singer, guitarist and songwiter, who followed Rita Lee in the Os Mutantes band has an admirable solo career and is worthy of much more attention outside of Brazil. A favorite of Brazil's best musicians, she is excellent and hip: as demonstrated in the title track "Sortimento"."
"Recorded live in Rio under the "MTV" banner, with a set composed of songs sent in by the fans on the internet, Brazilian funk, rap, hip-hop, and samba songstress gets a hot group to back her and is on fire. From songs that go back to 1990, this is a dance club spectacular that goes from disco to hip hop with slick rapping. 'Mosh pit, Princess'!"
"Maria Rita's multiple Latin Grammy-award winning debut on a CD where everything is great, I single out for special mention:"Nao Vale A Pena" (It's Not Worth It,) a haunting blues which shows her Ella Fitzgerald influences and the vocal DNA of her mom, Elis Regina. She is a shining star lighting her own path along the way to the future of Brazilian music."
"Brazil's jazzy young diva sings one of the GREAT versions of the venerable "Girl from Ipanema" (Garota de Ipanema) with a different twist, a sly harmonic shift, scatting, and nice jazz tenor sax solo . Don't miss this one."
"This is the other "Maria Rita" who reversed her name to prevent confusion with Elis' daughter and became "Rita Maria", on a marvelous debut CD called "Fora de Orbita" (Out of Orbit) with some wild 'xaxado' rhythms, ballads, and bossas. "Pedra Rara" (Rare Stone) has a wonderful descending musical figure and an intense octave jump by this superb soprano."
"Carla Alexandar is Brazil's gift to Europe and to the world. She has taken samba, rap, hip-hop, and raggae and created a "samba muffin" that is wonderful to behold. "Arte Spray" is an expert blending of musical styles that is very exciting. Liner notes in English. Another very talented artist pointing to the future of Brazilian music. Henrik Andersen's guitar and sitar work is amazing."
"Simone!! The other 'Simone' (not Ms Guimaraes) joins Ivan Lins on his 2005 Latin Grammy "Album of the Year" singing a duet of his famous composition "Comecar de Novo" (New Beginning, aka The Island) which is smoky and haunting. BTW, Simone is voiced below Ivan and she pulls it off."
"Fernanda Porto's brilliant live recording, released as a CD & DVD, combines 'drum n bass' with samba, bossa, & MPB. Former member of 'Habeas Corpus' and a noted composer of film music, her voice, guitar, and alto sax are great: "Samba a Dois", "Baque Virado" and "Sambassim"."
"Brazil's R&B diva, Paula Lima, sings any type of MPB beautifully with a distinction and conviction that is disarming and soothing in her delivery. Her CD "Sinceramente" is a total winner: full of musical colors, rhythms, and her amazing voice. Check out "Let's Go" & "Cuidar de Mim": great performances."
"The marvelous VÃ¢nia Bastos re-interprets the wonderful songs of the ground-breaking recording "Clube Da Esquina" by such lumilnaries as Milton Nascimento, LÃ´ Borges, and Toninho Horta. Songs such as "Trem Azul", "Tudo Que VocÃª Podia Ser" and a great version of "Estrela/Clube Da Esquina No.2" are given great performances."
"Maria BethÃ¢nia, another legendary singer with a haunting distinctive voice, is caught in a voice/piano duet of "Poema Azul" (Blue Poem) which is both sung and spoken in a heartfelt manner. She's a national treasure."
"Bebel Gilberto is from another MPB/bossa nova royal family: being the daughter of Joao and MiÃºcha. On the breezy bossa "Tanto Tempo" with its electronic splashes, she is totally cool and disarming & both the CD and the title track are exciting and mesmerizing. A million selling CD that updated the Bossa Nova art form with great respect."
"The legendary MiÃºcha is caught on this recording with another legend, Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, arguably Brazil's greatest composer. A part of Brazilian music royalty, MiÃºcha is the mother of today's super-star, Bebel Gilberto (whose father is Joao Gilberto) and is the sister of Chico Buarque. Whew, what a talented family!!"
"Daughter of Zizi, new star Luiza Possi sings rock, hip-hop, soap opera themes, MBP, and this beautiful version of "(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow" in natural sounding English, which is nonetheless very poignant, is one of the best I have heard. The Possi household speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish, and lots of Italian."
"Elba, known as the "Queen of Forro" is caught in a breathtakingly beautiful ballad called "De Volta Pro Aconchego" (Return to Your Coziness) which is one of my all-time favorites, with a distinct European flavor produced by the background instruments. This song must be included in any Brazilian music sampler!!"
"Brazil's red-headed rock queen, Rita Lee, in a forward looking Prince-like set that includes the song 3001. Rita Lee is the namesake of Elis Regina's daughter Maria Rita and co-founded the legendary rock group Os Mutantes (The Mutants)."
"Beautiful model, actress, musician and singer Ana Carolina, fresh from her duo hits with Seu Jorge, is 'profiled' on this CD with some stunning work such as "Nua (Naked) and "Confesso": very powerful songs from this terrific performer. Search the web for her videos. This CD went to #1 in Brazil and that's where she belongs."
"This is a great CD with Vanessa singing on her own and in her distinctive way, but Vanessa's "Boa Sorte/Good Luck" Portuguese/English duet with US singer Ben Harper is a marvelous confluence of voices, rhythms, and languages that is infectious and engaging. It went to a chart- topping #1 in Brazil. "Sim" (Yes!)"
"The very talented Elin is from Sweden but she lived in Rio and speaks fluent Brazilian Portuguese. A true world performer, she is a terrific singer with precise pronunciation, innate swing. Her lovely honey-toned voice is an instrument which goes from slow ballads ("Lush Life") to smoking sambas ("Casa Forte") to 'cuica'-imitation ("Aquarela do Brasil") to vocalese gymnastics ("Doralice")."
"Lisa Ono is a very special singer who is also a wonderful guitarist. The song on this CD that I like so very much is "Diz A Ela" being heard around the internet on SKY FM-Bossa Nova Jazz. Check her out."
"The perfect bookend for this list is the pure, MPB perfection of Brazil's super composer Tom Jobim and super diva Elis Regina. Everything is outstanding but the gut-wrenching "Retrato Em Branco E Preto" and touching "Fotographia" are flat out amazing. Every singer in Brazil has attempted "Retrato...", but Elis is still the champion. Enjoy!!"