Tania Maria

Brazil with My Soul

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Tania Maria's debut is a mix of hushed bossa numbers and up-tempo, jazz-inflected sambas that show off the prowess of her nine-piece band. "Zé," which belongs to the latter category, is an original tune that begins with Maria's slightly over-the-top scatting and builds into a kickin' samba jam; on "Para Chick," a Tom Jobim instrumental, the group is at its most improvisational, with Maria herself (on piano) dishing out some fine solos; and on the tempo-shifting "Ideias E Ideias," Maria manages to sound like Astrud Gilberto and Ella Fitzgerald within the span of a few chord changes. Though it's heavy on the standard bossa/samba fare, it's also a uniformly solid album and a fine introduction to Maria's catalog.

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