Red Hot + Rio

Various Artists

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Red Hot + Rio Review

by Richard S. Ginell

Now this is an interesting project; Brazilian standards and newly-composed music interpreted or transfigured by the old masters, rock stars and cutting-edge '90s musicians - with all the proceeds going to fight the spread of AIDS. What is so remarkable about this album is how wholeheartedly the younger musicians relate to the cruising Brazilian ethos, often without taking the edge off their own idioms. That results in some delightful surprise teamings; rock's George Michael's astoundingly authentic leap into the spirit of "Desafinado" in tandem with Astrud Gilberto, PM Dawn's fusion with Airto and Floria Purim on "Non-Fiction Burning, "and retro-rock band Stereolab's quirky Moog-laced meeting with the fanciful flute of Herbie Mann on "One Note Samba/Surfboard." Another high point - singers Cesaria Evora and Caetano Veloso teaming up with Yellow Magic Orchestra keyboardist Ryuichi Sakamoto for a pounding, high-tech yet emotional "E Preciso Perdoar." One of the most beautiful compositions is also one of the newest; multi-instrumentalist Money Mark's echt-Brazilian "Use Your Head" that leads off the album. There are very few misfires; one is a lame "Aguas de Marco" where the Talking Heads' David Byrne again proves that he shouldn't be let anywhere near Latin music. A few of the tracks are donations made before the project's conception (Milton Nascimento's lovely vocalise "Dancing...") and there is a touching duet between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Sting on "How Insensitive." As a final production touch, some of the tracks are separated by brief collages of sound that serve as grungy interludes. Anyone with open ears, an adventurous spirit, and a bent for Brazilian music should sample this album.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Money Mark 02:47
2 Everything But the Girl 03:56 SpotifyAmazon
3 Astrud Gilberto / George Michael 03:20 SpotifyAmazon
4 P.M. Dawn / Airto Moreira / Flora Purim 04:31 SpotifyAmazon
5 Crystal Waters 04:24 SpotifyAmazon
6 00:14 SpotifyAmazon
7 Maxwell 03:29 SpotifyAmazon
8 Ryuichi Sakamoto / Caetano Veloso / Cesária Évora 06:01
9 00:33 SpotifyAmazon
10 Ana Caram / Incognito 04:19 SpotifyAmazon
11 Milton Nascimento 03:20 SpotifyAmazon
12 Antônio Carlos Jobim / Sting 03:44
13 David Byrne / Marisa Monte 03:15
14 00:25 SpotifyAmazon
15 Herbie Mann / Stereolab 07:18 SpotifyAmazon
16 00:21 SpotifyAmazon
17 Mad Professor 03:59 SpotifyAmazon
18 Chico Science / DJ Soul Slinger 04:27 SpotifyAmazon
Funk 'N Lata 00:58 SpotifyAmazon
20 Gilberto Gil 04:00 SpotifyAmazon
21 Cazuza / Bebel Gilberto 04:42 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick