Mato Grosso

Brasileiro

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A band named after a state in western Brazil, Mato Grosso proved itself to be a welcome addition to the Brazilian pop scene with Brasiliero (which the Philly-based Cross Currents Music reissued in the U.S. in 1997). Interestingly, none of band members still live in Brazil -- rather, Grosso is comprised of Brazilians who live in Vienna, Austria. Led by founder/percussionist/producer Claudio "Fraze" Rodrigues, Grosso brings appealing jazz sensibilities to such lively yet melodically rich pop-samba as "Festa Na Floresta," "Cunhatai" and "Alo Brazil." On "Couvert," Rodrigues shows us how compatible jazz-influenced Brazilian pop is with a reggae beat. Another name worth noting is that of lead singer Marcelo Onofri, who is blessed with both charisma and an impressive range.

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