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World Music CD Reviews North American

Minas

By Matt Cibula
Published March 16, 2007

In Rio
Blue Azul 06

Looking for the next breakout American world act? Swing your ears over this way. Patricia King and Orlando Haddad, the Philadelphia duo known as Minas, flew down to Rio de Janeiro to recharge their batteries and came back with one adorable record full of bossa nova, choro and samba pop. She sings and plays piano nimbly; he sings and swings a great jazz guitar; they are assisted by some of the most sympathetic sidemen Rio has to offer. Whether essaying zippy, sunny numbers like King’s “Feira Livre” or moodier pieces like Haddad’s “Ash Wednesday March,” they play with the intensity and creativity of a brand new band, even though they’ve been making music together for more than 30 years. And with the saudade and subtlety of “Vento,” graced with Afonso Claudio’s flute and John Swana’s horn filigrees, Minas achieves a kind of mellow gold that Beck can only dream about.