Born in the northern Brazilian state of Acre, João Donato started as an accordionist before developing his outstanding keyboard skills. Over the years he has collaborated with stars such as Tom Jobim, João Gilberto, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and this album features two very different recordings with Joyce and Marcelo D2. His calm, almost transcendental 'E Vamos Lá', features the beautiful voice of Joyce, who is one of Brazil's most internationally acclaimed artists. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1948, she has recorded over twenty albums and was one of the first MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) female songwriters. On 'Balan&;ccedila', João Donato collaborates with former Planet Hemp vocalist Marcelo D2, and produces a much more urgent 'street' sound. Marcelo has recorded five albums and is probably best known for the hugely successful album, A Procura Da Batida Perfeita (2003), which was produced by Beastie Boys producer Mario Caldato and blended hip-hop and samba.
João Sabiá was originally a member of the groundbreaking Sambalan&;ccedilo band before he went onto win hearts in numerous TV shows. His voice - a perfect combination of old-style samba and chart-pop presentation - is showcased on 'Mãe Alice' from his 2009 album Pisando De Leve. Zuco 103 are the masters of Brazilian electronica and 'Nunca Mais' is taken from their latest album, After The Carnaval, which moves into a rootsier more acoustic sound but which still features the beautiful voice of Rio-born Lilian Vieira. Musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist and music producer Beta Villares is best known as the producer of Céu's Grammy nominated album. In Brazil he is one of the most in-demand producers and this song, featuring a gently hooting tenor saxophone, is taken from his 2008 debut solo album.
Mariana Da Cruz began her career as a bossa nova singer in Sao Paulo and Lisbon. This track is from her excellent debut album Nova Esta&;ccedilão, which was produced by electro-metal producer Ane H., and mixes bossa nova, breakbeats, jazz, samba rock and electro. Together, musician and composer Dennis Wheatley and singer/songwriter Nina Miranda - known for her involvement in Smoke City as well as high-profile session work with Bebel Gilberto, Nitin Sawhney and Daniel Jobim - make up Shift. 'As Far As I Can See' is from their first full album, Lost In A Moment. Born in Rio, Marissa was in the band Sindicato Soul and the innovative percussion group Monobloco before turning solo. Her debut solo album, 2007's Eu Sambo Mesmo!, produced by Bossa Cuca Nova's Alexandre Moreira, yields our two selections here. Axial formed after an inspirational ten years of research into Brazilian, Haitian and African musical forms. Their music fuses electronic, acoustic and world music with technology and can be further explored on the bonus CD.
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