Artists Worth Checking Out: Complicated Animals Release Single “Show Me”

Loyal friend of this blog Monica da Silva and Chad Alger did it again.

This time around, a song worthy of the clubs instead of the dinner table.

Appearing on the Socialite Fiasco label, the song talks about tying emotions and hoping to elicit some type of feeling–whether it is positive or negative.

The song is available for streaming on Spotify.

My initial reaction is about some lover hoping to get back together like they are missing them for a significant period of time.  If my thoughts are off in left field, I invite Monica to comment on this anytime it is of best convenience.

Back to my usual blog next week.  Enjoy your weekend.


Master Composers: Quarteto Em Cy


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A really nice album for a typical workday, along with the MPB Em Cy work…my Album Picks of the Week…this Brazilian girl group got their names in a very interesting way.

According to their Wikipedia page, they hail from the northeast region of Brazil in a town named Ibiraataia.  Their real names are Cybele, Cylene, Cynara, and Cyva.


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The group started performing in 1959, and according to the Cherry Red Records liner notes in the album I highlighted above–Christopher Evans mentioned about the group producing a whopping seven albums in a three year period.  They would take their act to the United States by the mid 1960’s by appearing on The Andy Williams Show and also with Joey Bishop.

Appearing on the legendary Forma and Elenco labels, their Som Definitivo album with Tamba Trio from 1966 represents the true heights of their work.

The “very intricate rhythms” featuring various progressions of the chords and the intricate rhythms of the group’s voices are also being used today by indie alternatives such as Stereolab and Belle & Sebastian to a certain degree.

The songs present an almost hushed tone, great music for any workplace.  Pace wise, some songs are fast and many of them are good natured, slow tempos–but not at a snail’s pace.

Eventually, the group gained even bigger popularity in Japan where three of the four sisters continue have been touring regularly since 1980.  Sadly, Cybele died on August 21, 2014 at at the age of 74 while having a lung ischemia at her Rio home.

Both albums are available for physical CD purchase on both eBay and Amazon.  Streaming media should have both albums available as well.  I give both albums very high ratings.

Next week, we are back to cover the guys for a change as I will highlight briefly the interesting career of Jorge Ben followed by someone in the current jazz genre making graceful waves out in Los Angeles.

Thank you again for continuing to read and follow my blogs.  Comments are always welcome anytime.  Please try to enjoy the rest of your day and try to stay warm, especially to anyone reading in the Deep South.




Master Composers: Claudette Soares


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Born in 1939, Claudette Soares was a major player on radio starting at the tender age of ten.  By 1954, she became a major crooner at the Hotel Plaza working with the likes of Luiz Eca.  Ten years later, her first foray into bossa nova was published.

My Pick of the Week takes us to another key album, with a lot of late Sergio Mendes mixed in.  From 1969, this album is available for physical CD purchase via Amazon with many online dealers in Japan.  For that reason, all of the liner notes inside are written in Japanese (say it with me like Charlie Brown when he was angry,


The disk is barely over 31 minutes long and is perfect for a Friday night, any Friday night on the calendar for that matter.  And yes, according to the Portuguese speaking Wikipedia page, Claudette is still alive performing her famous hits throughout Brazil.

Very bubbly, airy, and very dreamy in nature–this album is just right for kicking back with your favorite chilled drink of choice and kicking off your shoes (or heels in the case of all the ladies who might be reading).

My favorite tracks were the opening track, “Trem de Ferro” (translated meaning, “Iron Train”; Track 7, “Correnteza” (meaning, “Current”–being current), and Track 11 “Vem Balancar” (meaning “Come and Rock”).

Definitely an excellent disk to pair with today’s stars like Halie Loren (I simply cannot stop mentioning her name each time I type it), Patricia Talem, Monica da Silva from The Complicated Animals, and Sabrina Malheiros.

Next week, I will continue profiling more under-the-radar bossa nova pioneers from the 1960’s–as I am planning to do a blog about a quartet of singers simply called Quarteto Em Cy.

Please have yourself a great night and have some pleasant dreams.



Master Composers: Sylvia Telles


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Hearing this music for the first time made me feel like watching the figure skating competition during the Winter Olympics.

Lots of operatic type notes and plenty of dinging beats similar to Sergio Mendes with Brasil ’66 when they were the hot group back in the day.

Sylvia Telles was born on August 27, 1934.  According to Ruy Castro’s famous book Bossa Nova:  The Brazilian Music That Seduced The World–Telles originally wanted to be a ballet dancer.  She began recording albums in 1957, before bossa nova became commonplace spending significant time with Antonio Carlos Jobim.

In fact, it was Jobim himself that wrote one of the songs that gave her the classic nickname of “Dindi” (pronounced as Jin-jee).  The nickname was made referenced to a farm that Jobim and his longtime friend Vinicius de Moraes visited often.

My album Pick of the Week is from 1963 by Elenco Publishing.  Physical CD copies are scarce, but there are several Amazon links in Japan that might have a few copies available.

The best songs are on Track 3, “Voce E Eu” and the final track, “Dorme”.  The overall album is very short, a little over 32 minutes to be precise.  It has its’ moments, but IMHO–this album is just above average for me because I was expecting more and it fell just a bit flat both in the beginning and especially the end.

Telles was in the middle of recording ten albums in a decade.  By 1966, she spent five solid years in the United States, even doing a tribute album during that period.  But sadly in December 1966, shortly after Telles had recorded the very famous piece with the guitarist Rosinha de Valença, she was tragically killed in a car accident in Rio at the tender age of 32.

Ray Gilbert later on would add the English lyrics, which went something like this:

“Sky so vast is the sky / with faraway clouds just wandering by / Where do they go / oh I don’t know.”

Those lyrics is the main reason why I think this is indeed the right album to begin a new calendar year with.  As we turned the page exiting a very difficult year of 2017 and hoping for a newer beginning here in 2018, my hope is that we all are wiser and stay healthy and hopefully make better decisions that will make our lives better.

For the next two months, you will see my final posts chronicling other bossa nova pioneers who had their brief moments in the sun.  I will also take some time towards the end of January and the middle of February to highlight some more current artists that have delved into Brazilian jazz in their musical repertoire (and maybe, just maybe–there could be another Q&A stuffed inside your inbox).

Next week, look for my blog on Claudette Soares.  Enjoy your weekend.





Artists Worth Checking Out: Debora Cidrack


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Born in Fortaleza, which is the state capital of Ceara located in northeastern Brazil.  According to her own website, Cidback began her professional singing career at the tender age of as a singer at age 15.

For several years she has performed as a vocalist for renowned bands such as Marajazz, Baby Dolls and Matutaia.

In 2007, she was a semi-finalist in a contest on the show Domingão do Faustão.  While on that show, she joined the group Valkyrias as a composer and vocalist.  This program helped her exposure greatly by appearing on many media outlets throughout Brazil and she would help open up shows for the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Nelly Furtado, and Chris Brown.

Five years later in 2012, she signed a contract with Universal Music to distribute the album “Game on” which she sings on the electronic project called Shameless.  The following year, Débora participated in the renowned music program The Voice Brasil.

In 2017, her cover to the popular mid 1990’s rock single by Ace of Base, “All That She Wants” gained quite a viral following.  One look at her expanded playlist encompasses not only jazz standards like “Sweet Love” and “Fly Me To The Moon”, but also being involved in rap with songs ranging from, “Rescue Me”, “Candy”, and “Mix Tudo”, of which she attached in her Music link via her Soundcloud page.

Hope that music becomes part of your New Year’s Eve playlist.
Holiday Greetings To One And All
What a year for my blog.  There were plenty of highlights:
  • From the time Halie Loren decided to retreat to the near solitude that nature brings to breaking out with that amazing Kickstarter video and pledge backing by so many hundreds of fans…Halie definitely had one year to remember (my honest and sweet interviews included, wink wink;).
  • Alexia Bomtempo also came out with a new album in the fall, and it did not disappoint.  As I said in my blog on September 22, “Alexia’s voice comes off so sweet and graceful.”  Even Sabrina Malheiros brought her dancing shoes to her new work called Clareia.
  • Mallu Magalhaes and Agencia Zanna sent out powerful messages in their songs during the summer.  Even the Complicated Animals came out with a rather spooky seance video more appropriate for Halloween than what has been dominating their area with all of the persistent wildfires in Southern California.
  • The always hectic month of March had me featuring a triple play from smooth jazz great Lee Ritenour and his always upbeat but calm brand of tunes.
  • At the beginning of the year, I paid tribute to the late Al Jarreau and profiled another pioneer from 1960’s bossa nova in Rosinha de Valenca.
As for the quote of the year, it was again a clear cut winner…a true All-Star in my book any day of the week.  That honor once more is for Oregon’s own Halie Loren, when she said in late January a statement that somehow even with this very disappointing and unraveling political climate the United States has been experiencing in so many ways in and out of the Fishbowl that is The White House and Capitol Hill, Halie’s words seem so appropriate to close out 2017:

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“I want to believe kindness will always win out…don’t you?”
I agree 100 percent with Halie in the fact that I believe the world can be a better place.  Each small act can lead to even bigger acts of kindness–when things are accomplished by like-minded people who get along and respect each other’s differences.
Hopefully, 2018 will set a newer precedence (even though I have to admit, indie pop rock artist Lana Del Rey tried on her Twitter account to set four days aside from February to April in a blatant attempt to hopefully kick President Donald Trump out of office, but to no avail).
My hope for fans reading this blog is that we hear and see more messages of inclusion, love, fun, togetherness, courage, faith, and hope in which it will hopefully resonate when I profile newer artists and artists coming out with new work.
And yes, I cannot wait for Halie’s tenth album to arrive in my very chilly (and maybe partially snow covered) mailbox this coming spring.
I am pretty sure she is going to save some big time smiles when she does her photoshoot for any possible liner notes which might be included, hehehehe.
saudações da estação
Season’s Greetings
See you in January, as I begin to profile the last of the true bossa nova pioneers from the 1960’s.

Artists Worth Checking Out: Ana Clara

Not to confuse her with the adult film star of the same name, Ana Clara has made quite a splash in the niche that is Brazilian jazz.

Sadly, I was not able to locate any bio on her.  However, after watching her lovely music videos for songs from “Sonho De Amor” (translated meaning, “Love Dream”) and “O Que E Que Tem” (“What’s The Matter?”), plus her B&W number, “Essa So Eu” (“This Is Me”), the future is definitely bright for her.

She has a page on YouTube with over 30,000 followers.

Next week will be my final blog for 2017 and it will feature the works of Debora Cidrack.  Her cover to a once popular 1990’s song by the rock group Ace of Base will probably make your head spin a few times after hearing this cover version.

See you all next week.  In the meantime, please continue to pray that everyone in Southern California is safe and sound after all of the raging wildfires that dominated most of the coastline and surrounding mountain areas for the better part of the last two weeks.

Artists Worth Checking Out: Liz Menezes


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Liz Menezes began singing by the age of ten when she was a part of a choir ensemble at a local church.  She also took up writing at an early age, of which most of her poetry would later translate into music.


According to the website Reverb Nation, it mentioned that she worked with the record label Albatroz Music–first as an independent artist as part of a two year stay in Rio.  Between 2007 and 2013, her star continued upward by winning online competitions and also appearing in magazines such as People Espanol, Boom, and El Barrio Latino Magazines.

In 2014, she released her first album Dejame (translated meaning, “Let Me”) and the following year, the EP Capitulo 2 (“Chapter 2”) was released.  Available also on YouTube and Spotify, these songs bring a cool but upbeat factor.  The CD can be purchased via Digipak.  All five songs sound really nice, but the ones not to miss are Track 2, “Aquella” and Track 5, “Estebas”.

This budding artist has been doing it for a number of years, but my next quartet of Rising Stars are just that.

During the first two weeks of December leading up to Christmas, I will be profiling the new artists that burst onto the Brazilian jazz scene in 2017.

First up, will be Ana Clara and finally, look for a nice feature on Debora Cidrack.

Enjoy the rest of your week, everybody.