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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

PURE BRAZIL SERIES:

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published September 13, 2005

Pure Brazil Series: Samba Social Club 
Universal

Pure Brazil Series: Bossa4Two
Universal

Pure Brazil Series: Feijoada
Universal

These are the fourth, fifth, and sixth titles of a 12-volume series on Brazilian music that draws from the Universal catalog. Each 14-track CD comes in a tri-fold sleeve with very little annotation. Samba Social Club features some performers who've kept the tradition alive and features recordings from the '70s and '90s. It's also the CD that features the fewest singers, Jorge Aragao claiming four tracks, and Martinho Da Vila three. The fact that these aren't the biggest names in the genre doesn?'t make them less than masters of their craft. Bossa4Two, which features duets that span 1963 to 1997, leads off with the famous "Girl from Ipanema" by Astrud and Joao Gilberto but also includes Marcos Valle and Ana Maria Valle's "So Nice," which was more recently turned into a lounge anthem by Bebel Gilberto. Feijoada refers to the famous Brazilian black bean stew which is also a symbol of the country's melting pot and features mostly big name artists such as Chico Buarque, Jorge Ben, Ivan Lins, Elis Regina, Gal Costa, and Caetano Veloso. None of these albums turn up big surprises but they do deliver good, quintessential Brazilian songs, some familiar, some less so.