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VARIOUS ARTISTS | Brazil - The Essential Album (Manteca)
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The Independent Culture

This cheap and cheerful double-CD digest of the last three decades or so of popular Brazilian music is far from comprehensive, but there are so many killer tracks among the 31 examples here that it would perhaps be churlish to complain, despite the educational value being closer to GCSE than A-Level. Starting with Tamba Trio's version of "Mas Que Nada" (the theme to the last World Cup's Nike ads), and ending with "Para Lennon and McCartney" by Friends From Rio, there's the expected selections from Tom Jobim, Jorge Ben, Chico Buarque, Elis Regina, Maria Bethania and other usual suspects. The absence of Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento must be to do with copyright restrictions, but it's great to have "The Girl From Ipanema" in a rarely heard version by Vinicius de Moraes, the song's lyricist. Phil Johnson

This cheap and cheerful double-CD digest of the last three decades or so of popular Brazilian music is far from comprehensive, but there are so many killer tracks among the 31 examples here that it would perhaps be churlish to complain, despite the educational value being closer to GCSE than A-Level. Starting with Tamba Trio's version of "Mas Que Nada" (the theme to the last World Cup's Nike ads), and ending with "Para Lennon and McCartney" by Friends From Rio, there's the expected selections from Tom Jobim, Jorge Ben, Chico Buarque, Elis Regina, Maria Bethania and other usual suspects. The absence of Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento must be to do with copyright restrictions, but it's great to have "The Girl From Ipanema" in a rarely heard version by Vinicius de Moraes, the song's lyricist. Phil Johnson

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