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July/August 2005

Flora Purim
Flora's Song
Narada Media

There's a hazy grandeur, an earthy exuberance that very nearly overwhelms this ump-teenth album from Brazil's legendary songstress. But, some 40 years into her brilliant career, Purim is too assured, too keenly in tune with every inch of her rhythmic environment, to let that happen. Professionally, she has always been an astute world traveler, joyfully traversing any musical landscape she encounters while soaking up everything she can from such diverse jazz influences as Duke Pearson, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, her husband and perennial playmate Airto Moreira and the Caribbean Jazz Project's Andy Narell (who, along with Moreira, George Duke and Marcos Silva, guests on this disc). Cacophonously cross-cultural yet assertively organic, Flora's Song is perhaps best-described as jazz-driven world pop (or is it pop-savvy world jazz?) Either way, from the sensual moaning at the center of the title track and jungle passion of "This Is Me" to the native, volcanic ebullience of "Forbidden Love" and techno-pop blister of "Silvia" (akin to being locked inside an august cathedral equipped with a killer sound system), it's clear the Queen of Brazilian jazz has a fever, and it's catching.

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Flora Purim

Originally published in July/August 2005
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