The Rough Guide to Brazilian Lounge

Various artists

It’s too bad that Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “The Girl From Ipanema”—an international hit in the 1960s sung by Astrid Gilberto—became elevator music. It’s the familiar Latin jazz standard that every run-of-the-mill casino lounge band plays, however badly—and that’s why some people hate it. But it really is a good song. World Music Network’s The Rough Guide to Brazilian Lounge compilation does not include this song, but it does contain 18 other songs (emblematic of the current Brazilian new-bossa scene) containing the same pure, chilled-out-yet-passionate vocals as Gilberto’s—vocals that it seems no one can do quite like the Brazilians. Opening the disc is lovely Rio de Janeiro chanteuse Adriana Maciel’s gentle “Acontece” (with equally beautiful bandoneón accompaniment by Fernando Samalea), followed by the laid-back “Depois do Aplauso,” from electro-bossa Swiss-Brazilian band Da Cruz. Brilliant keyboardist Joao Donato appears on two cuts—the sexy “E Vamos Lá” (with Brazilian super-singer Joyce), and “Balanca,” with former Planet Hemp vocalist Marcelo D2. It’s all good on this CD, and if that weren’t enough, a CD by new electro-organic Afro-Brazilian group Axial—featuring the angelic vocals of Sandra Ximenez—is included as a bonus.