Artists Worth Checking Out: Both Volumes of Bossa For The Modern Woman Are Simply Beautiful

A total of 32 Nu Lounge cuts, according to both covers from the EQ Music label out of Singapore, China is first rate lounge music–with worldwide reach and a dazzling array of artists that could bring instant relief on any hot summer’s day.

I am sure you can find the covers when doing your online searching, since it features a pair of women in very (shall we say for a lack of a better phrase) suggestive poses.

Volume 1 leads off with a steady beat of piano and cool instrumental arrangements on “Sempre”, with Giacomo Bondi and Didi giving us five minutes of sheer bliss.

Next up is “Hot Stuff”, but it almost sounds like a combination of smooth jazz artists Richard Eliott and Lee Ritenour teaming up with Roberta Flack.  However, one good reason to given this tune a listen is for the late Donna Summer rendition which was done beautifully by the group Border Sound.

Another sizzling track is on number 9 (notice me getting into this hot theme with the words this week?) is Monique Klemann’s voice on “Stay”.  Simply amazing beats and tempo–along with Track 14, as the Brazilian Jumble does a nice version of “O Sol Que Beija Voce”.  That “oooooh” definitely belongs in any summertime playlist, whether strolling along your favorite beach or simply trying to stay cool in air conditioning and putting ice inside your favorite drink (preferably a non-alcoholic beverage, that is the way I roll with things).

Completing this summery two-fer is of course, Volume 2.

Maria Augusta lends on a rather cool version of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” to start this set.  On Track 6, she returns with an even slower ballad reminding some of Peggy Lee with “The Shadow of Your Love”.

True 1980’s rock fans should instantly recognize the romantic versions of The Clash and their famous one-hit wonder, “Rock The Casbah” (Track 3) and again on Track 10, with Dexy Midnight Runners’ alternative hit, “Come On Eileen”.  Devoted Beatles fans should find Track 8 done nicely by Gabrielle Chiararo on “Here, There, and Everywhere.”

However, my real glittering star in this disk is Lisa Maroni–born in Umbria, Italy in April of 1977.  Having performed on several blues albums and other circuits around the globe, she really shines on “Sama de Bamba” (Track 4), and she also closes out the disk on Track 13 with “Pra Dancar” and the final track about the “Rio Grande”.

Also, Marcela Mangabeira (remember I profiled her on my personal anniversary blog back in March) also has some mellow numbers on Track 7 with “I Don’t Mind”, “Golden Brown” on Track 11, and a personal favorite of mine and most people who want to have an impromptu extended weekend (huge thank you to my Accounting teacher during my junior and senior years in high school having a cute play on words from the famous Garfield poster on her classroom door), “I Don’t Like Mondays.”  Her English vocals remind me a bit of Marina Elali and a small bit of Bebel Gilberto.

These albums may or may not be hard to find online, but lucky for me–someone in Germany of all places had one of the volumes.  Who would have thought?

That was the question most Brazilians were asking themselves in the spring of 1964 when Astrud Gilberto began rocketing the Billboard Top 100 charts.  Her voice was so unforgettable that Sergio Mendes tapped her to lead his group of singing for Brasil ’65 before Lani Hall took over the reigns the following year.

Her name is Wanda Sa (or quite simply, Wanda de Sah back in the day), and I will profile her trio of albums (another two-fer on the CD front) complete with album covers sometime shortly after Americans pop the fireworks for Independence Day.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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