Brazilian Album Reviews

This is a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "L"
If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
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Lia De Itamaraca "A Rainha Da Ciranda" (Tapecar, 1977)

Lia De Itamaraca "Eu Sou Lia" (Rob Digital, 2000)
Unruly, captivating, raw regional music from a Pernambucan singer who sticks to the old-fashioned way of making music... These songs (many of which, it must be admitted, sound an awful lot alike...) are maracatus and cocos de roda, with heavy, wobbly rhythms and off-kilter, stripped-down accompaniment on percussion and a single, quirkily honking horn. Lia (aka Maria Madalena Correia do Nascimento) has been making music for years and has a lot of the same tenor and gravitas as Clementina de Jesus or Dona Ivon Lara, but this music is just a little bit weirder and more wild than their traditional sambas... Probably not for everyone, but very traditional-sounding and definitely worth checking out.

Lila "A Madrugada Na Voz" (Columbia, 1961)

Lilian / Lilian Knapp - see artist profile

Marina Lima - see artist discography

Paula Lima "Diva Paulista" (Mr. Bongo, 2002)

Paula Lima "Paula Lima" (Universal, 2003)

Paula Lima "E Isso Ai!" (Universal, 2005)

Paula Lima "Sinceramente" (Indie, 2006)

Walmir Lima "Esta Tudo Bem" (CBS, 1976)
Samba composer Waldir Lima is perhaps best known for writing several 1970's samba-raiz hits, notably Beth Carvalho's hit, "Dindinha Lua" (co-written with Joao Rios) and "Ilha De Mare," which was recorded by Alcione.

Walmir Lima "Walmir Lima" (Kelo Music, 1980) (LP)

Walmir Lima/Various Artists "Sambas De Roda De Salvador" (K-Tel/EMI/Master Music, 1983)
(Produced by Walmir Lima, Gabriel O'Meara & Milton Manhaes)

On this roots samba album Walmir Lima was the bandleader and occasional lead singer. Others, including several percussionists, also sing lead, folks with nicknames such as Beijoca, Edinha da Bahia, Elane, Giba, Rico Medeiros, Sarabande, and Serginho... it's a lovely, barebones samba album, with a very 'Seventies sound, and very heavy on the percussion. Sounds pretty sweet!

Ed Lincoln - see artist discography

Arto Lindsay - see artist discography

Claudio Lins "Um" (Velas, 1999)
An album by the son of composer Ivan Lins and actress Lucinha Lins... Pretty schmaltzy romantic stuff, mostly.

Claudio Lins "Cara" (Biscoito Fino, 2009)

Ivan Lins - see artist discography

Lucinha Lins "Sempre, Sempre Mais" (Philips, 1982) (LP)
Singer Lucinha Lins was married to MPB/jazz composer Ivan Lins and sang on all his major records of the 1970s, as well as on numerous other artists' albums, but she recorded only sparsely under her own name. In the early '80s she shifted gears and took up an acting career, which has led to many roles in dozens of telenovelas and films.

Lucinha Lins "Cancao Brasileira: Lucinha Interpreta Sueli Costa" (Biscoito Fino, 2002)
A well-crafted set of MPB ballads, which should appeal to fans of Gal Costa and Maria Bethania's cabaret-oriented style. Lucinha is backed here by pianist Gilson Peranzzetta and his ensemble. Rio-born songwriter Sueli Costa was a favorite of slick '70s performers such as Simone, Joanna, Ney Matogrosso, Fafa de Belem, Maria Bethania, and -- one would assume -- Joao Bosco, especially since she collaborated often with Aldir Blanc. Costa recorded sparingly in the late 1970s; this affectionate tribute should help bring her music to the attention of a new generation of MPB fans.

Little Joy "Little Joy" (HPI/Rough Trade, 2005)
(Produced by Noah Georgeson)

A collaboration between Rodrigo Amarante (of the Brazilian indiepop band Los Hermanos) and Fab Moretti of the Strokes, with additional vocals from Binki Shapiro... It's an English-language album, but I'll forgive Amarante... just this once!

Liverpool "Por Favor Sucesso" (Equipe, 1969)
A genuinely groovy mod-psych rock record with echos (naturally) of the British scene, specifically stuff like late-edition Yardbirds and various post-Invasion Brit bands... There's also a distinctly Brazilian air to many songs: Gilberto Gil's stuff from '68 comes to mind, but not that much of the wacky self-indulgence of Os Mutantes and their followers. Anyway, this is very diverse, very fun, and very much worth checking out. Definitely a notch or two above most Brazilian "nuggets" albums of similar vintage. Recommended! (Reissued on CD and LP by Shadoks Music)

Robert Livi "Serie Jovem Guarda: Apaixonado/Robert Livi" (Sony-Columbia, 2000)
A 2-CD reissue of two old jovem guarda albums, Apaixonado and Robert Livi

Lobao - see artist discography

Valeria Lobao "Chamada" (Tenda Da Raposa, 2011)

Ary Lobo - see artist discography

Edu Lobo - see artist discography

Os Lobos "Miragem" (Top Tape, 1971)
A cool mix of styles - jangly pop-psyche, denser, jazzier proggish art-rock and bouncy, piano-led music-hall shuffles, reminiscent of The Kinks, with a touch of shimmering Byrds-iness in there as well. The alternating male-female vocals invite comparison to Os Mutantes... Personally, I like these guys better: their artistic output is more consistent and they seem a little less full of themselves (although there are a few similarly sluggish, spaced-out moments as well... Goes with the territory, I guess...) Overall, a great hippie-era relic! At least one bandmember, Dalto, went solo later in the 1970s...

Marcio Local "Says Don Day Don Dree Don Don: Adventures In Samba Soul" (Luaka Bop, 2009)
(Produced by Mario Caldato, Jr.)

Contemporary Brazilian funk and soul, from a Rio native who carries the torch of samba-soul pioneers such as Tim Maia and Wilson SImonal... There's a touch of the cooler, funkier, sexier Jorge Ben in there as well, but mostly that sound is in the mix; there are some great arrangements (courtesy of Beastie Boy producer Mario C, who in recent years has returned to Brazil and joined the simmering local hip-hop/samba scenes...) but the vocals are pure Simonal, a husky, schmaltzy style that is popular in Brazil, but may be hard for many North Americans to get into. This is a musically creative record, and in terms of keeping true to the traditions of 1970s/80s Brazil soul, it's also very authentic. Definitely worth checking out -- if you like this, you'll also want to check out Maia, Simonal and Maia's nephew, Ed Motta.

Marcio Local "Samba Sem Nenhum Problema" (Universal, 2009)

Fernando Lona "Cidadao Do Mundo" (Tapecar, 1977) (LP)
Soft pop, with a northeastern regional flair, including a few dips into more traditional baiao/forro music. The opening tracks are awful, but the deeper you go into the album, the better it gets. Ultimately, he's a bit like Edu Lobo, an ornate but tuneful MPB pop stylist. Doesn't really wow me, but I can see where this would have appealed to folks at the time, especially those in search of representatives of a modern regional culture. All the songs were written or co-written by Lona, with arrangements by old-timer Leo Peracchi.

Dora Lopes "Minhas Musicas E Eu" (Copacabana, 1965) (LP)
Although she later embraced the roots-samba sound of the early 1970s, this mid-'60s pop vocals/bolero set is fairly torturous, with impassioned, overly-emotive vocals and a fairly piercing, busy orchestrations. The drippy piano, the sharp-edged string arrangements, the intrusive horns... It doesn't really work for me, though there may be listeners more attuned to orchestral pop and pure emotive schmaltz who could get into it more than I did.

Dora Lopes "Testamento" (RGE, 1974) (LP)
(Produced by Chil Deberto & Jose Toledo)

An awesome set of roots-samba, '70s-style, with earthy, evocative vocals and solid musical backing. Ms. Lopes is the sort of exhortatory singer who really stirs up her band, and she summons a whirlwind on some of these songs... There's a strong wave of saudade and regret that flows through here, but also a vibrancy and power that's similar to the best of the pagode samba of this era. If you like Clara Nunes, Clementina De Jesus and Ivone Lara, you'll want to add this gal to your list as well. Overwrought at times, but generally pretty rootsy and real... Plus, she wrote all of her own songs!

Dora Lopes "Esta E Minha Filosofia" (Tapecar, 1972) (LP)

Nei Lopes & Wilson Moreira "A Arte Negra De..." (EMI, 1997)

Nei Lopes "Sincopando O Breque" (CPC-UMES/El Dorado, 1999)
Latter-day samba cancao with fairly posh, sometimes big band-ish arrangements. Lopes is one of those Brazilian old-timers whose career effortlessly spans the decades; here he's joined by another veteran sambista, drummer Wilson Das Neves, in a nice, lightly swinging set of songs, all written by Lopes himself. Sweet stuff, a little old-fashioned, but nice nonetheless.

Nei Lopes/Various Artists "De Letra E Musica" (Velas, 2001)

Nei Lopes "Celebracao" (Rob Digital, 2003)

Nei Lopes "Partido Ao Cubo" (Rob Digital, 2005)

Luiz Loy "...E Sua Juventude Musical" (Odeon, 1962)

Luiz Loy "Luiz Loy Quinteto" (RGE, 1966)

Luiz Loy "Chico Buarque De Hollanda Instrumental" (RGE, 1967)

Luiz Loy "Balanco Pra Frente" (Odeon, 1968)

Renata Lu - see artist profile

Romero Lubambo - see artist profile

Ana Lucia "Colecao As Divas" (?)

Ana Lucia "Canta Triste" (RGE, 196-?)

Vera Lucia "Vera Lucia" (Philips, 196-?)
A "radio singer" ballad gal, covering some samba and bossa material, including songs by Luiz Bonfa, Carlos Lyra, and Joao Roberto Kelly, with fairly staid backing by the band of Carlos Monteiro de Sousa.

Jose Luciano "Seu Piano E Seu Ritmo" (Copacabana, 1957)
Negligible dance-band instrumentals from Fortalezan pianist Jose Luciano and his combo... Sort of a Harry James-meets-Edmundo Ros kind of thing. The repertoire's a mix of Brazilian compositions (including some by Luciano, as well as nightclub regular Djalma Ferreira...) along with Tin Pan Alley material such as Cole Porter's "So In Love" and Sammy Fain's "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing." Generally pretty syrupy and schmaltzy, with a dash of big band oomph amid the flowery, flashy riffs. I'm mildly interested to find out who the electric guitarist was, but honestly this isn't music you need to spend a lot of time on.

Pedro Luis E A Parede - see artist profile

Ze Luis "Guarani Banana" (Malandro, 1999)
An accomplished saxophone player who has toured on the road with Caetano Veloso and other giants of Brazilian MPB, Ze Luis moved to New York City, where he is firmly in the middle of the Big Apple's Braz-Jazz revival. Joined by others on the NYC scene, such as Mauro Refosco, Romero Lubambo and Paulo Braga, Luis has put out his own solo album, a mainly-instrumental jazzfest which ranges from muscular Latin jazz reworkings of bossa standards to lighter, dreamier numbers that are reminiscent of Milton Nascimento's Clube da Esquina days (notably "Winds From Africa"). It's not my entirely my cup of tea, but for the territory, this ain't bad.

Ze Luis/Paulo Braga/Nilson Matta "Green Heart" (New Orbita, 2007)

Luiza "Luiza" (RCA, 1964)
A nice, mid-1960s pop-bossa album featuring blonde-haired Luiza Silveira Fonseca (who I'd never heard of before) and pretty sharp arrangements by Moacir Santos, backed by an anonymous band, presumably culled from the bossa-era jazz camp. Luiza's voice is pretty nice, though perhaps a little too perfect and smooth, in a manner reminiscent of French chanson singers. Overall, a lovely little record that seems to have dropped off the radar over the years. Worth checking out.

Nonato Luiz - see artist profile

Luizinho & Seus Dinamites "Choque Que Quiema" (RCA Victor, 1964)
Twangy, surfy/garage-y rock; rough-edged stuff from the jovem guarda era. Luizihno "got" American-style rock... but just barely! Nonetheless, the shakiness of these performances is a big part of their charm... This is undeniably authentic teenster rock, with lots of energetic lead guitar work and several fun songs. Pretty cool little relic.

Luli & Lucina "Luli E Lucina" (1979)

Luli e Lucina "Amor De Mulher/Yorimata" (Nosso Estudio, 1982)
Gooey, amorphous, flowery folky stuff, with a kind of new age-y feel -- gentle, static acoustic guitar and noodly vocals. Lucina was, once upon a time, one of the singers in Grupo Manifesto. I'm afraid this disc doesn't do much for me.

Luli e Lucina "Timbres & Temperos" (Som Da Gente, 1984)

Luli e Lucina "Porque Sim, Porque Nao?" (Leblon, 1991)

Luli e Lucina "Elis & Elas" (Leblon, 1995)

Luli e Lucina "25 Anos" (Dabliu, 1996)

Alcyvando Luz "Fala Moco" (Tapecar, 1980)
(Produced by Alcyvando Luz)

Moacyr Luz - see artist discography

Lygia "Lygia" (Copacabana, 1964)
A good album from the bossa nova days, drawing equally on the influences of the small bossa-jazz trios and larger studio orchestrations of the time... A well-connected Brazilian socialite, Lygia de Freitas Valle herself may have been an underwhelming vocalist -- I think this was her only album -- but the talent backing her is impressive, and gives this album a solid, satisfying, though somewhat corny sound. Maestro Lindolfo Gaya, Rubens ("Pocho") Perez and jazz pianist Manfredo Fest all provide arrangements on various tunes, as does guitarist Paulinho Nogueira and the popular Zimbo Trio. No producer credit is given, but I think Nogueira was the driving force behind this album, and it's a pretty strong set. Nice repertoire, solid musicianship, classy, clear production and an adequate singer, all combined with being in the right place at the right time... This album remains a rarity, but it's emblematic of its era and definitely worth a listen.

Carlos Lyra - see artist discography

Kay Lyra "Influencia Do Jazz" (Video Arts, 2004)
The jazz-oriented debut of singer Kay Lyra, daughter of fabled bossa composer, Carlos Lyra. This was released in Japan, and so far hasn't seen release in the States...

Kay Lyra "Kandagawa" (2007)

Brazilian Music - Letter "M"

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