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Album Review

Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Rosa Passos is known worldwide for her stunning voice and her interpretations of classics as well as her own originals. Her last two records reflect this: 2004's Amorosa was a tribute to João Gilberto, while 2005's Rosa por Rosa was a collection of Passos' own songs. So it's nice, then, that her subsequent effort, Rosa, contains some of both. The album is, in short, reflective of what she is, a combination of the past and present. It's simple, too, in that perfect way: just her and her guitar and 15 tracks to show them off. The sound throughout the record is very consistent, with Passos' smooth, sensuous voice coupled with the warm tones of her guitar. It produces a very welcoming effect, and the two instruments complement each other so well that there almost seems to be something missing during the opener, an a cappella version of Garoto's "Duas Contas." It's a lovely piece, but everything sounds better, and more natural, when her guitar enters into the next song, Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Eu Não Existo sem Você," to accompany her. The timbres of the two voices blend together sweetly, bringing the listener into the lush harmonies of a Brazilian winter. The first half of Rosa consists mostly of covers, including a stunning Portuguese version of Henri Salvador's "Jardin D'Hiver" (called simply "Jardim" here) and an equally good interpretation of "Sentado à Beira do Caminho," while in the second part of the album she moves into originals. There are two previously unreleased songs from the 1960s co-written with her first lyricist, Fernando de Oliveira ("Demasiado Blue" and "Detahle") as well as two songs in Spanish, "Desilisión" and "Fusión." It's a compelling, unadorned, thoughtful mix, a beautiful representation of an important and talented contemporary Brazilian musician.


Born: 1952 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Genre: MPB

Years Active: '00s

Rosa Passos is one of the few singers currently in Brazil dedicated to a genuine evolution of Brazilian music, devoid of fashionable trend and commercialism. She has established herself firmly in the country's artistic scenery, acknowledged by many such as João Gilberto, Maria Schneider, Clare Fisher, Paquito d'Rivera, Johnny Alf, Nana Caymmi (who recorded two of her compositions), and even the number one enemy of bossa nova, the fundamental music researcher J.R. Tinhorão, even if she hasn't had...
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Rosa, Rosa Passos
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