Sounds of Brazil

While the 1933 movie Flying Down to Rio, with its catchy song, “Carioca,” may have whetted this country’s interest in Brazilian music, it wasn’t until 1963’s chart-busting “The Girl From Ipanema” by Stan Getz and João Gilberto that we really got interested. Indicative of a continued interest are these two recent releases. Boston-born vocalist Maria Jameau (nice pipes!) and Blue Brazil (flute/guitar/bass/percussion) do a very tasty job (especially flutist Bob Afifi) on Gema, a batch of mostly Brazilian songs, including a subdued “Ipanema,” and two lively numbers—“Tristeza Pe No Chao” and “Mas Que Nada.” On Simplicidade, which was recorded last July at Yoshi’s, Bay Area quartet Grupo Falso Baiano (the name makes a joke on their false Bahia roots), concentrates on another Brazilian musical form: the choro. Rio native Jovino Santos Neto provides some authenticity on piano, accordion and flute on several tracks, most notably the pepped-up “Chegui,” and the chirpy “Kenny é Você” a flute duet. Among the highlights is Neto’s “Rosa Cigana,” a relaxed duet with saxophonist Zack Pitt-Smith and the disc’s closing track, the up-tempo “Forró na Penha” with the group backing up Neto on accordion and Pitt-Smith on flute.