Forró has been called "Brazilian zydeco," and to be sure, there are a few parallels -- both are dominated by the accordion, both are known for their exuberance and both have a strong regional flavor. Just as zydeco came out of the Afro-Creole-American culture of Louisiana, forró was very much a product of Brazil's northeastern region. Passion and exuberance are in abundant supply on Forró Novo, a collection of mostly instrumental recordings that accordion great Oswaldinho do Acordeon made during the Summer of 1995. Those who associate Brazilian music with the light, subtle, gently introspective bossa nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim and João & Astrud Gilberto will be surprised to hear how hot-blooded things get on such Oswaldinho do Acordeon numbers as "Bom e Bonito," "Sorriso de Samantha," and "Oito Baixos" -- no one will mistake anything on this CD for a Gilberto/Stan Getz recording from the early 1960s. Quite appropriately, Forró Novo opens with an inspired version of Luiz Gonzaga's 1946 hit "Baião." Gonzaga, who was as important to forró as Bob Marley was to reggae and Charlie Parker was to Bebop, is among Oswaldinho's primary influences, and "Baião" is among the most famous of forró songs. Forró Novo is highly recommended for both the casual listener and the seasoned forró enthusiast.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson