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Bebel Gilberto: Momento

She is the contemporary incarnation of the girl from Ipanema-tall, tan, young and lovely, with bossa nova coursing, quite literally, through her veins. So, it should come as no surprise that Bebel Gilberto has emerged as the most popular Brazilian performer to storm international shores since her father, João, and his first wife, Astrud, put Brazilian jazz on the world map more than four decades ago.

Bebel’s breathy dreaminess recalls the misty Astrud, but the Gilberto progeny explores wider musical horizons. Hers is a distinctly more pop-jazz sound, her sunniness is occasionally clouded by stormy sentiments (as demonstrated in this, her third album, on the tantalizingly moody “Close to You”), and there’s a heightened emotional richness to her languid sultriness (witness the gentle heat of “Azul” and the heart-torching fire of “Caçada”).

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