Incomparable Brazilian singer Tania Maria is dynamic, innovative, energetic and soulful. Her enthusiasm can at times, though, lead her to ramble on some of her renditions. On Viva Brazil, however, she is definitely more controlled.
She is one of the few artists capable of performing a well-known tune and then transforming it into something totally new and, at the same time, still make it entirely appealing. That is precisely the case with Jobim and Mendonca's "One Note Samba." Unlike its usual fast tempo, here it becomes a most intimate, emotive, spellbinding ballad.
Maria's arrangements are unique, as always. Who else could take Sidney Bechet's "Petite Fleur," give it Portuguese lyrics and make it an infectious samba? The clarinet solo maintains the song's French flavor, while the percussion and drums deliver the Brazilian rhythm perfectly. In yet another magnificent number, the classic "Sebastiana," made famous by Jackson do Pandeiro, Maria is supercharged with the traditional Brazilian xaxado.
From samba to funk to Brazilian roots, Viva Brazil is never short of surprises.