Tania Maria

Via Brasil, Vol. 1

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This rare album from singer/pianist Tânia Maria, backed by bassist Hélio and drummer Boto, documents that in the mid-'70s, the swinging samba-jazz interpreter was already developed -- even if still closely emulating Elis Regina. The album opens with the heavy pounding of "Samba de Orly" (Vinícius de Moraes/Chico Buarque de Hollanda), and the same atmosphere follows with a Jorge Ben medley, giving room to the lyrical "Até Quem Sabe" (Lysias Ênio/João Donato). "Abre Alas" traces very closely Elis Regina's take. Another Ben classic, "Fio Maravilha" (which was written in homage to the celebrated soccer player Fio, from Botafogo, who later sued Ben for using his name, which is the reason why this song is currently interpreted as "Filho Maravilha") restores that heavy swing. "Águas de Março" (Tom Jobim), in which a mild samba arrangement (as opposed to the usual bossa nova rendition) backs her interpretation, is profoundly indebted to Elis Regina. Another sensitive moment is brought by "Não Tem Perdão" (Ronaldo Monteiro de Souza/Ivan Lins), the vehicle for one of her solos coupling the piano with her voice. The album closes with a medley of "Não Põe a Mão" (Péricles Simões Mutt/Arnô Canegal/B. Moreira), "Arrasta a Sandália" (Osvaldo Vasques/Aurélio Gomes), "Aquarela do Brasil" (Ary Barroso), the marchinha "Nega do Cabelo Duro" (Rubens Soares/David Nasser), "Maracangalha" (Dorival Caymmi), all transformed into a heavy samba. An appealing record for samba-jazz and Tânia Maria fans.

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