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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

PURE BRAZIL SERIES:

By Marty Lipp
Published September 13, 2005

Bossa 4 Two Vol. 2
Universal

The Girls From Ipanema
Universal

Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
Universal

These are the latest three discs from the largest series of Brazilian CDs targeted for the U.S., 17 discs in all. Certainly the country deserves as many ears pointed at it as possible. A cut such as Zizzi Possi's "Capim on Girls" is so rhythmically sophisticated and seemingly effortless, one wonders why other countries even try. Though the series is big, it suffers from a narrowness of musical vision. Two of these discs are second volumes of earlier releases and all are either bossa-focused or have a soft swing that is not too sonically distant. The Girls From Ipanema, Vol. 2 has the makings of a musical dream team with Joyce, Leila Pinheiro, Zelia Duncan and the newest "it girl" on the beach, Bebel Gilberto. Bossa 4 Two is a concept that mostly works, with some great moments, such as the modern classic "Desde Que O Samba E Samba" from Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, or the unlikely combination of the earthy Alcione and ethereal Djavan. Quiet Nights is a collection of bossa sung in English. The crossover instinct may have the best intentions, but the result can be dangerous, like a toddler who wants to take his pet fish out of the aquarium to give it a hug. True Brazil-ophiles can debate the disc's choices, but the series continues to be an entertaining and occasionally eye-opening introduction to the firmament of Brazilian stars.