Artists Worth Checking Out: Rosa Passos


Image of 2004 release of 1988 album courtesy of

Born on April 13, 1952 in the Bahia State, Rosa Passos initially took up piano as a child.  But by 1965, after listening to the likes of Joao Gilberto and Dorival Caymmi–she moved on to performing in festivals and appearing on Brazilian television periodically.

Her first album Recriação came out in 1979, one year after initial songwriting began.  Nine years later came this effort (which Sony Music would reissue in 2004 and would land on the Billboard Top World Music Albums Chart at the number 7 position).

Rosa’s use of the guitar is almost effortless.  The voice almost sounds like that of the melodic independent rockers The Softies meeting First Aid Kit meeting The Staves.

The album starts out with a pair of Antonio Carlos Jobim classics, “Voce Vai Ver” and “Wave.”  A version of “Besame Mucho” on Track 3 was later popularized by Diana Krall in 2001 got a nice version here, along with “S’Wonderful” on Track 11.  Track 5 is also a good version of Carlos Lyra’s “Lobo Bobo” hit song.

There is even a bonus track of Joao Gilberto’s “Chega De Saudade” at the end of the album.

The pace is slow, but the songs are classic in every way.  She is teamed up with Paulo Paulelli on bass, Paulo Braga on drums, Helio Alves on the piano, and Cyro Baptista with the percussion.

It was indeed a true labor of love for Rosa, as she explained in the 2004 liner notes:

“I was attracted by Joao’s original way of harmonizing the melodies, and by his sensitive style of singing…When Sony Classical executive producer, Laraine Perri, suggested I record an homage and valentine to Joao Gilberto, I joyfully accepted.

It is my wish that the thrilling atmosphere and positive energy of the recording sessions will reach the heart of each person who listens to this album.”

This album is widely available online, great to listen to either in the car or relaxing after a tough day of working out in the back yard or doing those oftentimes complex home improvement projects.

Next week, I will feature another guitarist by the name of Lawson Rollins.  But before that will be yet another Olympic update and my second DVD concert review for 2016 featuring the awesome 2008 concert performed by Maria Rita.

Hope to see you all then.


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