Brazilian Album Reviews

This is the third page of Brazilian artists under the letter "B"

If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.

A | B-1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5 | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Compilations
Brazilian Styles | 30 Recommended Records | Portuguese-language pop | Brazilian Links | Slipcue.Com

The Beat Boys "Beat Boys" (RCA-Brazil/Lion Productions, 1968/2010)
Although they were actually from Argentina, the Beat Boys made their names on the 1960s Brazilian rock scene, backing the great innovators of the psychedelic-oriented tropicalia scene -- Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso -- as they embraced electrified, American-style rock music. Along with bands such as Roberto Carlos' RC7 and the more notorious Os Mutantes, the Beat Boys were a go-to band if you wanted a hard-edged, solid garage-psych rock backing, and they appeared anonymously on several key tropicalia recordings. This is a reissue (with bonus tracks) of their own full-length release from 1968... You might read elsewhere how this disc is some kind of mind-blowing, hard-psych acid rock Rosetta stone; I think that's kind of an exaggeration... What this is, though, is an unusually cohesive Brazilian garage rock record by a band that was more professional-sounding and grittier than most of the other groups exploring the same music at the time. In the '60s, Brazil didn't have much history with greasy, grimy, longhaired rock music, and there wasn't a big back bench for them to draw on, so a band like The Beat Boys stands out at the front of the pack. If you want to hear a prime example of Brazilian "beat" music, with stylistic debts to melodically oriented groups such as the Beatles and the Standells (and maybe the Seeds, at the freakier end of their spectrum...) this is an album worth tracking down. Some fun songs, too!

Bebeto - see artist profile

Bebeto "Bebeto" (Whatmusic, 2005)
(Produced by Helcio Milito)

A lost album from Adalberto Castilho, aka Bebeto, the bassist for the bossa-jazz band, Tamba Trio. (Not to be confused with the samba-funk singer-songwriter Bebeto, whose records are listed above...) Although this is officially a non-Tamba "solo" album, bandmates Helcio Milito and Luiz Eca are also on board, with Milito producing and playing drums, and Eca performing on several cuts. Laercio de Freitas also plays piano, and is the arranger for much of the album. (See also: Tamba Trio, Luiz Eca.)

Bebeto (Castilho) "Amendoeira" (Biscoito Fino, 2006)

Gino Bechi "Volume 1" (Revivendo, 2005)

Gino Bechi "Volume 2" (Revivendo, 2005)

Bedeu "Africa No Fundo Do Quintal" (Copacabana, 1985) (LP)
(Produced by Antonio Carlos De Oliveira & Luiz Mocarzel)

Sleek, poppy, post-pagode samba, mixing the slower soul-MPB of artists like Luiz Melodia with the funkier party samba-rock sound of Jorge Ben, Bebeto and others. Singer-guitarist Jorge Moacir da Silva (aka Bedeu) was a popular songwriter in the '70s samba scene and co-founded the samba-rock band Pau Brasil, then went solo in the early '80s... He co-wrote the 1982 hit, "Guerreiro" with samba-soul star Bebeto, and his own version is included here as well. On this album he had an Afro-centrist emphasis, including songs like "Africa Quintal" and the anthemic "Zimbabwe." This is soulful, better-than-average, though still middle-of-the-road material, similar to pop-oriented samba artists such as Agepe -- pleasant and easy to listen to, though perhaps not always electrifying. It grows on you, though -- classic mellow party music.

Iara Behs "Ernesto Nazareth: Tangos, Waltzes And Polkas" (Naxos, 2005)
A yummy, majestic recital of many of composer Ernesto Nazareth's classic pieces. Solo pianist Iara Behs nimbly captures the bounce and lilt of Nazareth's work, and infuses it with the right warmth and humor as well. A really lovely record - I could listen to this stuff for ages!

Belchior - see artist discography

Paulo Bellinati "The Guitar Works Of Garoto" (GSP, 1991)
This was the breakthrough album for acoustic guitarist Paulo Bellinati, a richly-textured tribute to samba-choro legend Anibal Augusto Sardinha (aka Garoto), one of the great pioneers of Brazilian guitar music.

Paulo Bellinati "Guitares Du Bresil" (GHS, 1991)

Paulo Bellinati "Serenata: Choros And Waltzes Of Brazil" (GSP, 1993)

Paulo Bellinati "Lira Brasileira" (GSP, 1997)

Paulo Bellinati & Monica Salmaso "Afro-Sambas" (GSP, 1997)

Paulo Bellinati & Harvey Wainapel "New Choros Of Brazil" (Acoustic Music, 2004)

Paulo Bellinati & Weber Lopes "Virado" (2009)

Paulo Bellinati "A Felicidade" (GSP, 2011)

Bil Bell "Rosa Morena: Sambas Que Nao Se Esquece" (Tropicana, 1970) (LP)
This appears to be a reissue -- under a different name -- of the Os Sax Sambistas album, Sax Sambando, originally on the Plaza label. It's a fun, perky set of easy listening instrumentals, apparently led by fabled session saxophonist Moacyr Silva working anonymously -- for whatever reason -- as part of this made-up studio band. Includes covers of many bossa nova hits and samba-cancao classics such as "Teleco-Teco #2," "Desafinado," "Meditacao," and "Chega De Saudade." The hasty production style actually gives this album a distinctive sound -- it's a little bouncier and less languid than a many Brazilian lounge albums of the 1950s and '60s. In addition to the horn arrangements, this album prominently spotlights the guitar-vibrophone pairing of Waltel Branco and Tičo Marinho, a technique echoed on Branco's albums of the same era. Apparently batucada percussionist Milton ("Mestre") Marcal is also part of this band, at least on this album. Fun, lightweight stuff!

Jorge Ben / Jorge Benjor - see artist discography

Bendego - see artist discography

Norma Bengell "Ooooooh! Norma" (Odeon, 1959)
I was actually surprised by how enjoyable this album was, given its obvious kitsch trappings... Brazilian bombshell Norma Benguell was apparently a Brazilian Marilyn Monroe knock-off, with piled, blonde-ish hair, a breathy voice and legs up to here. Bridgette Bardot might be an appropriate reference point, too, as this disc also has a bit of the French chanson-style vocal style as well (she doesn't sing in French, though, it's just that the vibe is similar...) According to writer Ruy Castro, in his excellent book, Bossa Nova, Benguell's suggestive look prompted a boycott by the Catholic Church, which of course made her a celebrity at the time... This was also significant because this disc has some of the earliest cover versions of early bossa nova tunes by Joao Gilberto and Tom Jobim, and the ensuing scandal helped boost their visibility as well. The arrangements, by the ubiquitous Maestro Gaya, are actually pretty good, certainly not cheesy, and Benguell is adequate as a "girl" vocalist. It's definitely very campy when she sings a few American standards in English ("That Old Black Magic," "Sunny Side Of The Street," etc.) but then again, this is the sort of thing that the loungecore crowd lives and dies for. If you're drawn to that sort of thing, this disc is definitely worth tracking down. Also includes a couple of early Jobim songs.

Norma Bengell "Norma Canta Mulheres" (Elenco, 1977) (LP)
Film star Norma Bengell returns to the recording studio for a tribute to female Brazilian composers, covering songs by Sueli Costa, Dolores Duran, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Joyce, Dona Ivone Lara, Rita Lee, Maysa and others... It's actually a rather nice album... A confident performer, Bengell is relaxed and unhurried, comfortable in her role as chanteuse, and backed by an understated all-star band that includes Rosinha de Valenca, Ed Maciel, Jacques Morelenbaum, Sivuca and others. Not mindblowing, but completely solid and credible. A few disco-y touches... but that's to be expected, back in '77.

Wilma Bentivegna "As Mais Belas Cancoes De Amor" (Continental, 1968)
Love ballads from Brazil and beyond, mixing bossa standards from the repertoires of Vinicius deMoraes, Delores Duran and Tito Madi with standards by Cole Porter, Harry Warren, Victor Young, et. al. It's more of a pop-vocals/radio singer holdover, but she has a jovem guarda youthfulness, if not an actual rock'n'roll sensibility. The arrangements are corny, but sweet, and this was certainly one of Bentivegna's stronger efforts. Worth a spin.

Wilma Bentivegna "Hino Ao Amor" (Revivendo, 2005)

Irmaos Bertussi "Sangue De Gaucho" (RCA-Camden, 1972)
Classic "gaucho," or cowboy, music by a brother duo from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state, near the borders with Paraguay and Uruguay. The all-acoustic music is simple and pleasant, with strong stylistic similarities to Argentine folk music -- plaintive ballads sung to brisk, bright acoustic guitar. Brothers Honeyde and Adelar Bertussi stick to a sound that is softer and more melodic than the more piercing rural styles of the North, and though this twelve-song collection felt all-too short, it was quite pleasant to listen to... The Bertussi brothers were foundational to the modern gaucho genre: Honeyde was a prolific songwriter who began performing professionally in 1942, forming the Irmaos Bertussi group in 1945 and recording 78s and LPs for decades to come. I'm not sure what vintage these recordings are from... The Camden series is often reissue material, but this doesn't have their biggest hits on it and also the recording quality here sounds pretty modern, so I'm guessing these really were from the early 1970s. At any rate, it's a nice album, though maybe a little off the beaten track for many Brazilian music fans.

Irmaos Bertussi "40 Anos Ontem Hoje E Sempre" (ACIT, 1994)

Irmaos Bertussi "Os Grandes Sucessos Dos Irmaos Bertussi" (RCA, 2000)

Reginaldo Bessa "Amor En Bossa Nova" (1962)

Reginaldo Bessa "Passageiro Do Vento" (MAC, 1978) (LP)

Reginaldo Bessa "Outro Tempo, Outro Lugar" (MAC, 1981) (LP)

Bet.e & Stef "Jazz / Bossa Nova" (Bet.e & Stef Records, 1998)
Bet.e & Stef "Day By Day" (Bet.e & Stef/Universal, 2002)

This Canadian duo from Montreal mixes a love of Brazilian bossa nova standards with a more modern taste for soul stylings and jazzy vocals -- a perfect mix for the acid jazz/club kid crowd. On these two self-released records, Bet.e & Stef's Brazilianness really gels by the second album, where a more subtle touch, and a firmer sense of their production style comes to the fore. Overall, their soul jazz tendencies isn't really my cup of tea, but the acoustic bossa material can be quite lovely. For the right listener, these Quebecois crooners might be the perfect package!

Bet.e & Stef "Wish You Well" (EMI-Toshiba, 2004)

Maria Bethania - see artist discography

Betinho "Serie Bis: Jovem Guarda" (EMI, 2000)
Although he was one of the earliest Brazilian jovem guarda rockers (with one song, "Enrolando O Rock," apparently dating back to 1954), Betinho was hardly one of the most vigorous artists working in the style... His approach was pretty strictly novelty-oriented, with songs filled with sound effects like roosters crowing, etc., and it didn't take long for Betinho to abandon backbeats altogether... Most of the material in this too-generous 2-CD set is actually soft pop vocals or novelty/lounge instrumentals... A few moments of fun, but overall pretty marginal.

Don Beto "Nossa Imaginacao" (Som Livre, 1978)

Ricardo Bezerra "Maraponga" (Epic, 1978) (LP)
(Produced by Raimundo Fagner & Hermeto Pascoal)

Blech. Noodly Northeastern MPB/jazz with a particularly flowery feel. There are gentle ululations, ala Milton Nascimento, and soft-jazz passages galore. A ton of Braz-jazz talent as well: Hermeto Pascoal is credited with the arrangements, and performs on most of the tracks; Raimundo Fagner sings harmony on several tracks, and several flautists -- Nivaldo Ornellas, Mauro Senise, etc. -- play together on some of the more sugary songs. Whatever. This is all waaaaaay too gooey for me, although I suppose for fans of Nascimento's work (or Fagner's) this could be a real find.

Brazilian Music - More Letter "B"

Main Brazil Index
World Music Index

Copyright owned by Slipcue.Com.  All Rights Reserved.  
Unauthorized use, reproduction or translation is prohibited.