A very different kind of Brazilian singer, the passionate Virginia Rodrigues, has made her presence known recently, asserting a powerful, soulful Afro Brazilian power that has won an increasing legion of fans. Her 1998 debut, Sol Negro, is followed up by Nos (Hannibal 1448; 49:32), a joyous expression of carnival spirit and spiritual appeals to the orishas (sort of like angels) of her Candomble religion. In the mix, as well, are touches of American soul and gospel inflections. Call her a queen of Afro Brazilian soul. Hailing from Salvador de Bahia, Rodrigues has climbed the socio-economic ranks into a level of deserved fame. Her new album, produced by Celso Fonseca with help from Caetano Veloso, credited with "discovering" her, opens with the traditional "Canto pra Exu" and is highlighted along the way by "Afrekete" and "Oju Oba," pieces of a jubilant puzzle.