Ana Caram: Hollywood Rio

Ana Caram’s Hollywood Rio (Ches-ky) is a concept that actually works: a few well-chosen popular movie themes songs are given the bossa nova treatment. Who knew Burt Bacharach was from Brazil? “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” sounds as if it is supposed to be sung in Portuguese. Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” and “As Time Goes By” (from Casablanca) are perfect for the lush strings and jazz quartet.

The familiar melodies are sung in Portuguese, and the music is balanced between bossa and jazz. Caram’s vocals are perfectly suited to strike a balance between familiarity and experimentation, and while her phrasing might not always match bossa nova’s lilting rhythmic ticks it doesn’t distract from her performances.