March 1999

Maria Farinha
Planeta Banana
song-o-saurus

The song-o-saurus label has quietly emerged as a reliable source for today's most spellbinding Brazilian jazz. With its danceable, bright grooves and lovely ballads of longing, Maria Farinha's Planeta Banana (song-o-saurus 724776; 50:55) is no exception. In her debut out in front of the band, Brazilian vocalist Farinha shines equally on fast-phrased, twisting melodies like the gleeful "Chiclete Con Banana" and romantic ballads like Jobim's "Fotografia." Farinha's embracing alto executes the technically difficult classic braziljazz style with emotion and style—warm and mysterious on the bolero "Te Extrano," and brightly staccato on the frenetic, dancy "Bananeira" (about a lover who talks to a banana tree). Farinha is supported throughout by the prickly guitar work of Richie Zellon and an extraordinary band which executes the complicated rhythms and textures with style. A must-have for any Brasiljazz fan.

Originally published in March 1999
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