Like Vol. 1 of Buda Musique's Musique du Nordeste series, this equally superb CD examines some of the music that came out of Northeastern Brazil during the 20th century's first half. Buda once again turns its attention to such styles as choro, frevo and embolada, and many of the greats heard on Vol. 1 are also heard on Vol. 2, including Joao Pernambuco, Nelson Ferreira, Alfredo Gama, Minona Carneiro and accordion dynamo Luiz Gonzaga (who was the father of the late Brazilian pop star, Gonzaguinha, and is considered the godfather of forro and baiao). Variety is the rule on this CD, which ranges from the exuberance of Gonzaga's "Sanfonando" (1942), Carneiro's "Meu Girasol" (1928) and Capiba's "Julia" (1938) to the dramatic ballad singing of Alfredo Gama's "Saudades" (1928) and Valdemar de Oliveira's "Adeus Oh! Terra Onde Nasci" (1928). And here's a fact that's really ironic -- as much ground as this collection covers, it doesn't even get into the Afro-Brazilian music of Bahia, one of the states in Northeastern Brazil. Had Buda (which provides informative liner notes in both French and English) decided to get into Bahian sounds of that era, a two-CD set would been in order! Of course, many of the non-Black artists on this compilation were influenced by Afro-Brazilian culture and rhythms of Bahia. Neither volume of Musique du Nordeste is meant to tell the entire story of Northeastern Brazil prior to the '50s -- this collection simply scratches the surface, and does so with enriching results.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson