Master Composers: Nara Leao definitely left her stamp on soothing jazz
Born as Nara Lofego Leão on January 19, 1942, this once popular MPB singer also dabbled as an actor for a short time. A little bit shy as a child, she eventually grew out of her shell and gained her big break in the early 1960’s touring with Sergio Mendes (a few years before Wanda Sa burst onto the scene, another past subject if you look back and do a simple search in my blogs).
Sadly in 1979 while living in Paris, she had an inoperable brain tumor. Her final album My Foolish Heart was released around the time of her tragic passing on June 7, 1989.
My first entry of 2016 focuses on a compilation of her best works. There are plenty of songs many longtime MPB fans should instantly recognize, from the opening track of Carlos Lyra’s “Sabe Voce” to “A Rita” on Track 7 and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s classic song, “Wave” on Track 15.
Even the liner notes are all in Portuguese in this Polygram/Philips compilation that was produced sometime in the 1980’s, although no official release date was ever given.
The full album lasts just over an hour, with the right subtle blend of guitar and that very calm yet subtle voice that Brazilians enjoyed for many years. To her credit, she produced a remarkable 26 albums in a 25 year period between 1964 and her death in 1989.
Here is a song that is pure Nara at her very best, singing the romantic ballad “Amor Nas Estrelas” (or simply translated to, “Love In The Stars”):
Known by many as simply, “the muse of bossa nova”, she will never be forgotten.
See you next week with another cool CD album review.