Australian label Petrol Records cherry-picks ultimate world-music compilations from destinations such as Senegal, Cuba, and Portugal for its Best Songs Ever series. T+L tapped Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto—whose new CD, Momento, is in stores now—to select her favorites from the collection.
“La Jardinera,” by Violeta Parra: “A perfect example of Chile’s rootsy mountain folk music—just a guitar and her powerful voice.”
“A Rosa,” by Djavan, featuring Chico Buarque: “Here is modern samba at its best, with jazzy, complex chord changes and a beat that’s constantly changing.”
“Ai Meu Amor Se Bastasse,” by Aldina Duarte: “Duarte uses the full power of her throat until she’s almost screaming.”
“Marikuninha,” by Bongo: “The hoarse singing and energetic groove remind me of Carnival in Bahia, where you really feel the African influence.”
“Mambo Con Cha Cha Cha,” by Maraca: “I'm hypnotized by the trumpets. In Brazilian music, the horns are kind of funky. In Cuba, they're wild and hysterical.”
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