Master Composers: Rosinha de Valenca


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Born as Maria Rosa Canelas on July 30, 1941, she lived until June 10, 2004 spending most of her time in her hometown of Valenca in Rio.

Best known for her playing of the acoustic guitar, she picked up the instrument and learned at a very young age since her brother played it.  According to her Wikipedia page, she also picked up many sounds while listening to the radio.  She would later travel to the United States in teaming up Sergio Mendes, Wanda de Sah, and Brasil ’65.  She would also tour the world from 1968 until 1971.  She produced six albums between 1964 and 1990 and also recorded a trio of live albums from 1966, 1975, and 1977.

My album pick to wrap up February goes back to her earliest work and probably her most famous from 1964 in the album simply titled, Apresentando.

Clocked in at ten simple tracks totalling only 24 minutes and 49 seconds, it is very fast paced and loose in terms of the musical arrangements.  Plenty of flutes play in the opening three tracks and some horns dominate on the fourth song.

But there was only small problem with the liner notes:

It is all in Japanese. 

As Charlie Brown used to say years ago, “UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH!”

As a public service, I will be happy to email someone several pictures of the liner notes.

Your job, should you choose to accept it is a simple one–

Please find someone who is fluent with written Japanese words to translate the print language into American English.  That is going to be the only way possible to give my usual complete blog.

As for the overall album itself–it is a cool listen, excellent for any Sunday afternoon no matter what season it is on the calendar.  Although we don’t get to hear her voice until the fifth and final track, it is still a very nice album.

And in case if you were wondering, it is available for purchase on Amazon–mostly in Japan.  I was surprised that an order was placed in October 2016 and it took until the Friday before the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday to finally receive the CD in the mail.

Yes, the wait for me was all worth it in the end.

Rosinha will simply be remembered as a great star who packed a lot of life in such a short period of time.  Although she spent her final years suffering major health problems ranging from a heart attack and eventually slipping into a coma, she definitely left her mark during the golden age of Brazilian jazz.


As I patiently and calmly await official word from two of my favorite MPB’s today that Fabiana Passoni will be releasing a duet of “Namarados” with Roberto Vally, and Monica da Silva will soon be producing a new album.  Just fyi, Monica is part of the cool duo of the Complicated Animals with Chad Alger.  They just wrapped up a successful tour around Jacksonville, Florida and have both decided to pull up their stakes several thousand miles away in Los Angeles.

But going forward–I have decided to kick off March in a different, but fun way.

What would the early MTV hits of the mid 1980’s sound like in bossa nova form?

The same group that digitized Cecilia Dale’s work also did the Bossa Project Lounge and I will spend a bit of time on Wednesday deciphering their takes on popular Top 40 songs ranging from Tears for Fears in “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, the Pet Shop Boys in “West End Girls”, The Pretenders in “Don’t Get Me Wrong”, and one of my all-time favorite rock songs growing up, the famous 1983 hit single by The Police with “Every Breath You Take.”

There are also a couple of smooth jazz hits as they put their spin on Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire.  Look for that review after taking in another edition of Carnaval in Rio and Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Please have a great week, everybody.  Hope to see you all then.

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