Maria Bethânia

The Arte de Maria Bethania

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This is a collection of songs recorded by Maria Bethânia during the late '60s and '70s, when she was at the peak of her career. The selection of songs is very good and includes many great classics, such as "Mano Caetano" (a duet with Jorge Ben), "A Tua Presença Morena" (by Caetano Veloso), "Bom Conselho" (by Chico Buarque), "Iansã" (by Gilberto Gil and Veloso), and "Coração Ateu" (by Sueli Costa). This is Maria Bethânia, one of Brazil's finest female singers, at her absolute best. Jorge Ben wrote the deliciously groovy "Mano Caetano" especially for Bethânia, as a kind of welcome-home present for her brother Caetano Veloso, who at the time was returning from his European exile. The music and melodies of the tracks on this CD are magnificent in themselves, even if you don't understand the Portuguese lyrics. However, if you do speak Portuguese, the sheer poetry of some of the lyrics (such as Buarque's "Bom Conselho" and Veloso's "A Tua Presença Morena") adds an extra dimension to the listening experience.

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