Nicola Conte presents Rosalia de Souza - Garota Moderna

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Garota Moderna: The Connectbrazil Review
Rather than dancing around the issue, let's just get this one point out of the way at the very start: Singer Rosalia de Souza's Garota Moderna (Modern Girl) is one of the best pure Brazilian pop CDs to make its way to the US in recent years.

We'll explain. But first some background:

We like Garota Moderna enough to place it at the top of a long list of Brazilian drumbass CDs. As you may have discovered with our best-selling Nueva Bossa Nova compilation CD, this music is the happy result of a rekindled excitement in Bossa Nova.

Call it what you will - Drum and Bass, Lounge, Electronica, Jazzdance, Club, Downtempo, or even as an offshoot of Acid Jazz - the `youth movement' following for this genre (much of it influenced by Brazilian rhythms) is vital and international. In recent years, it's popularity has exploded worldwide, tracing the same global acceptance of the 60s Bossa Nova sound courtesy of a new generation of musicians and DJ's who have absolutely no first-hand knowledge of the original and thankfully none of the baggage, either.

Garota Moderna carries the indelible stamp of Italian DJ/producer Nicola Conte, who filters these Brazilian beats through a cultural prism, much as it was four decades ago when Italy's music scene mirrored Fellinni's "La Doce Vida" and the soundtrack-influenced "Cinecitta" movement. In search of new sounds for the dance floor, DJ's like re-mix king Conte (who has earned his reputation as being one of the best in his field) turned back their calendars to revitalize these Latin styles, and… Viola!

Born and raised in the Nilopolis district of Rio (home of the famed Beija Flor samba school), Rosalia de Souza has lived in Italy as a singer since 1989, building her CV with a series of single recordings with groups like Les Hommes and Quintetto X before meeting with label mate Conte in 1994. Eventually their collaborations expanded to include a brace of Bossa-tinged tracks for the "Break and Bossa" compilation series. These prototype sessions helped to lay the framework for Garota Moderna as her debut release.

Conte and de Souza's talents mesh very well and the proof is for all to hear. Amazingly, each of the CD's 13 songs is a keeper - unusual for most any solo recording these days and unheard of for a debut CD. As producer, Conte has a wonderful grasp on the true essence of Bossa Nova- a worldly innocence that is charming and pervasive; one which tempers our day-to-day realities as a safe haven for an uncomplicated moment.

And his largely acoustic arrangements provide Rosalia de Souza with the perfect musical setting. Her voice easily matches this vision. Lively and at times feather-light, she carries a range of emotion that echoes Astrud Gilberto's finest moments. But de Souza does more with it- bringing a sense of passion and sophistication to each song by acknowledging the subtle grace of Bossa's legacy. The result is at once contemporary, complimentary and wistfully retro.

In fact, Garota Moderna does such a great job with this rediscovery that its easy to forget that less than half the of these songs come Conte and de Souza's collaboration. Consider the covers: Baden Powell and Vinicius De Moraes' `Canto De Ossanha' (one of the original Afro-Sambas, reworked for the dance floor) becomes a showcase for de Souza's vocal strength and phrasing.

Clever choices abound: Lesser-known Bossa gems like `Adriana' and `Ipanema' from Roberto Menescal and Carlos Lyra's and Vinicius De Moraes' `Maria Moita' are a breath of fresh air when delivered with Rosalia's delicate style and Caetano Veloso's `Saudosismo' is elegantly engaged to the point where it outshines the original.

Six new songs continue the homage. `Bossa 31' and `Zona Sul' are instrumentals with Rosalia's soft scatting riding above the rhythmic drive. 'Mais' is a delicate down-tempo ballad while `Tempo Futuro' and `As Gotas' are both upbeat and catchy grooves in keeping with the spirit of the recording.

Garota Moderna succeeds in part due to its forthright approach: Conte and de Souza have done their homework and it shows; from the song selection to the arrangements and Rosalia's near-perfect performances. This has allowed them to avoid the formulaic doldrums that too often infect pop music. Because of their obvious creative ease, we get the feeling that "Garota Moderna" is completely comfortable in its own skin.

A final observation: Conte's role as producer should not go unheralded. Garota Moderna invites comparison to Bebel Gilberto's Tanto Tempo CD from 2000 which brought quick recognition including two Latin Grammy nominations and a 70 week run on Billboard's World Music Chart. Tragically, Gilberto's talented Yugoslavian producer, Suba, died shortly before the project was completed and she has yet to release a follow up CD. Inasmuch as Conte has already reworked Suba's `Tantos Desejos' for Bebel's record label, its clear that he and de Souza are poised for the same success.

In Brazil, the debate between Samba and Bossa Nova still rages. Many who view Samba as Brazil's best musical export see Bossa Nova as a flirtatious "has been," way past her prime.

Leave it to a Brazilian expatriate and a young Italian producer to prove them wrong.

01. Maria Moita
02. Bossa 31
03. Adriana
04. Tempo Futuro
05. Saudosismo
06. Canto De Ossanha
07. Fica Mal Com Deus
08. Mais
09. As Gotas
10. Mar Azul
11. Ipanema
12. Zona Sul
13. Samba Novo



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Very nice, thanks to alenoe

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Nicola Conte - Other Direction (Blue Note / Emi Music - 2004)

[* 1] Sea And Sand        
[* 2] Wanin' Moon        
[* 3] Nefertiti        
[* 4] Impulso        
[* 5] Time For Spring        
[* 6] Kind Of Sunshine        
[* 7] Aphrodite's Dream        
[* 8] Several Shades of Dawn        
[* 9] Dharma Burns        
[* 10] All Gone        
[* 11] Other Directions        
[* 12] In-Between        
[* 13] Le Depart  

Enjoy By Cassius
Next Post Nicola Conte - Bossa per Due
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126 ответов с 13.07.05 в 16:45
Назад в Electronic / Easy Listening