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Juliana Areias - Bossa Nova Baby

4 stars

Back in Brazil, where she was raised and given the nickname Bossa Nova Baby, Juliana Areias has been compared to Bebel Gilberto, the genreís golden girl.

Now this Sao Paulo-born singer is the toast of Perthís jazz scene. Areias cut her teeth on Corcovado and other Antonio Carlos Jobim classics, but the release of Bossa Nova Baby has elevated her above a mere covers singer or bossa specialist. Not that she has turned her back on her heritage.

Her first album comprising all original compositions starts with Garoto de Copacabana, which tips a panama to The Girl from Ipanema, the song that helped introduce the suave samba-derived music to the world. While itís a classy introduction, with cool flugelhorn and saxophone echoing Areiasís dulcet tones, itís merely a harbinger of whatís to come in a set that features consummate accompaniment from the cream of West Australiaís Latin jazz instrumentalists.

The singer excels in an elegant co-composed duet (Belas Artes) with Australiaís finest Brazilian-oriented 7-string guitarist, Doug de Vries. Four-stringed cavaquinho guitar and trombone help generate rhythm as Areias ups the ante in Ultima Cancao De Um Amor.

In Flecha, the singer salutes samba and the Rio carnival, aided by a battery of percussion (pandeiro, surdo, cuica et al) and electric guitar. Alto flute helps create ambience in a quieter New Zealand-inspired bossa thatís delivered in English. Portuguese Guitarra and a guest choir respectively illuminate folkloric-styled pieces dedicated to northern and eastern Brazil.

Tony Hillier - The Australian

Juliana Areias - Bossa Nova Baby 


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