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Album: Rosa Passos, Romance (Telarc)

As an antidote to the finger-snapping screamers and belters who populate the female jazz vocal sector, Brazilian star Passos is perfect: her style is so underplayed that she sometimes appears to be doing little more than breathing. While her album 'Rosa' from 2006 might make a better starting point, this very jazzy recording with her Brazilian small group on 12 slow and sad bossa novas is so intense that there's almost an air of prayer involved. There's perhaps a nod to smooth jazz, but the sound – mixed by Al Schmitt at Capitol Records – is sublime.

Pick of the Album: Rosa’s less-is-more smoulder on Dori Caymmi’s ‘Nem Eu’