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Elizeth Cardoso portrait Singer Elizeth Cardoso (1920-1990) was one of the great stars of the pre-bossa nova "radio singers" era; she was also one of the first of the old-guard Brazilian stars to embrace the new sound. Her 1958 album, Cancao do Amor Demais, is considered by many to be the "first bossa nova record" (although there had been several singles before that...) She elevated the young songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim into the Brazilian mainstream, and went on to embrace the work of Vinicius De Moraes, as well as to champion traditionalists such as Pixinguinha and Cartola.

Discography - Best-Ofs

Elizeth Cardoso "Serie Bis - Cantores Do Radio" (EMI-Brasil, 2000)
Considered one of the seminal interpreters of Antonio Carlos Jobim's work in the early bossa nova era, Cardoso's vocals have long left me cold as a listener. Maybe that's because I had only tried her "classic" work from the 1960s. Now that I've got a chance to hear more of her later material -- when the pressure was off and the hype was reduced -- a bit more of her charm comes through. This collection is heavy on later material... true, it includes some of her late '50s/early '60s material, but not a whole lot, and as it turns out Cardoso became a more disciplined snger as time went by. Paradoxically, she also became looser and a bit more playful. This 2-CD set still has its overwrought moments, but it provides a more varied, nuanced look at her career than other collections which focus in on the bossa related material. I'm still not completely on board with the Elizeth cult, but I'm getting closer.

Elizeth Cardoso "Faxineira Das Cancoes" (Biscoito Fino, 2003)
This box set includes reissue of five albums... including two discs worth of her shows with Jacob do Bandolim & Epoco de Ouro, her marvelous 1990 album, Todo O Sentimento, with guitarist Rafael Rabello and 1991's Ary Amoroso: Elizeth Canta Ary Barroso.

Elizeth Cardoso "Colecao Talento" (EMI, 2004)

Elizeth Cardoso "Retratos" (EMI, 2004)

Discography - Albums

Tom Jobim & Billy Blanco "Sinfonia Do Rio Janeiro" (Continental, 1954)

Elizeth Cardoso & Herivelto Martins "Um Compositor Em Dois Tempos" (Copacabana, 1957)
A five-song EP featuring Cardoso singing the work of composer Herivelto Martins, including "Madrugada," "Culpe-me," "Quarto Vazio," Segredo" and "Negro Telefone."

Elizeth Cardoso/Various Artists "Musica E Poesia De Fernando Lobo" (Continental, 1957)
Cardoso sings three songs on here, "Chuvas De Verao," "Bom E Querer Bem" and "31 De Dezembro."

Elizeth Cardoso "Cancoes A Meia Luz" (Continental, 1955)

Elizeth Cardoso "Fim De Noite" (Copacabana, 1956)

Elizeth Cardoso "Noturno" (Copacabana, 1957)

Elizeth Cardoso "Naturalmente" (Copacabana, 1958)

Elizeth Cardoso "Retrato De Noite" (Copacabana, 1958)

Elizeth Cardoso "Cancao Do Amor Demais" (Festa, 1958)
This album is considered the first official "bossa nova" album, or at least the first major commercial recording of the groundbreaking compositions of composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and poet Vinicius De Moraes. Cardoso's vocal style is still very much rooted in the dramatic, declarative pop style of the '50s "radio singers..." It would take the intervention of the dreamer-guitarist Joao Gilberto, backing her on guitar in one of his first major on-record appearances, to really bring the new musical style to life. Though widely revered, Cardoso doesn't blow me away (I think she sings a bit flat and hammy), although this is an okay album, with appropriately breezy bossa-pop stylings, things didn't really click for the bossa nova scene until Gilberto's own albums came out the following year.

Elizeth Cardoso "Magnifica" (Copacabana, 1959)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Meiga Elizeth" (Copacabana, 1960)
Nice! The first of several albums by the same title, this has a lighter, more youthful feel than her later work

Elizeth Cardoso & Moacyr Silva "Sax E Voz" (Copacabana, 1960)

Elizeth Cardoso "Sax E Voz, v.2" (Copacabana, 1961)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Meiga Elizeth, v.2" (Copacabana, 1962)

Elizeth Cardoso "Grandes Momentos Com Elizeth Cardoso" (Copacabana, 1963)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Meiga Elizeth, v.3" (Copacabana, 1963)

Elizeth Cardoso "Elizete Interpreta Vinicius" (Copacabana, 1963)
Building on her reputation as a major early interpreter of the new bossa nova style, Elizeth recorded this fine songbook album, concentrating on the work of poet Vinicius De Moraes. A nice slice of early De Moraes work, with arrangements by guitarist Baden Powell, jazzman Moacir Santos, Vinicius himself, and others. The first few tunes, notably "Mulher Carioca" and "Fela Luz Dos Olhos Teus," have a bubbly, explosive power to them, a nice contrast to the sometimes-stuffy sound that characterized a lot of the second-tier, mainstream bossa nova of the time. Sadly, from there Cardoso slides exactly into that more sombre, sluggish sound and this record loses steam as it goes along. Doubtless, it's considered a classic, though I thought it felt workmanlike and slow... It is notable, though, as an early album on which Santos acts as both bandleader and arranger, and fans of his work may want to check this out.

Elizeth Cardoso "A Meiga Elizete, v.4" (Copacabana, 1963)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Meiga Elizete, v.5" (Copacabana, 1964)

Elizeth Cardoso "Quatrocentos Anos De Samba" (Copacabana, 1965)

Elizeth Cardoso "Elizete Sobe O Morro" (Copacabana, 1965)

Elizeth Cardoso & Cyro Monteiro "A Bossa Eterna De Elizeth E Cyro" (Copacabana, 1966)

Elizeth Cardoso "Muito Elizeth" (Copacabana, 1966)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Enluarada Elizeth" (Copacabana, 1967)

Elizeth Cardoso "Momento De Amor" (Copacabana, 1968)

Elizeth Cardoso/Various Artists "Ao Vivo No Teatro Joao Caetano" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1968)
A live show, recorded along with Epoca de Ouro, Jacob Do Bandolim, and the bossa-jazz combo called the Zimbo Trio

Elizeth Cardoso/Various Artists "Ao Vivo No Teatro Joao Caetano, v.2" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1968)

Elizeth Cardoso & The Zimbo Trio "Balancam Na Sucata" (Copacabana, 1969)
A live album of jazzy, loungey performances from 1969. Cardoso's voice and phrasing seem a bit rough here, though she is clearly a model for the torchy, cabaret-tinged stylings of Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, and the like. The Trio are very jazz oriented, and in some ways more interesting than she is. Plenty of "potpouri" medleys, though they don't sound forced... The percussion is superior, although the piano is a bit cheesy.

Elizeth Cardoso & Cyro Monteiro "A Bossa Eterna De Elizeth E Cyro, v.2" (Copacabana, 1969)

Elizeth Cardoso "Falou E Disse" (Copacabana, 1970)

Elizeth Cardoso "E De Manha" (Copacabana, 1970)
With the Zimbo Trio...

Elizeth Cardoso & Silvio Caldas "Elizeth Cardoso & Silvio Caldas, v.1" (Copacabana, 1971)

Elizeth Cardoso & Silvio Caldas "Elizeth Cardoso & Silvio Caldas, v.2" (Copacabana, 1971)

Elizeth Cardoso "Preciso Aprender A Ser So" (Copacabana, 1972)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Mulata Maior, v.1" (Copacabana, 1974) Originally released as a double LP, this is album is now available as two separate CDs.

Elizeth Cardoso "A Mulata Maior, v.2" (Copacabana, 1974)

Elizeth Cardoso "Feito Em Casa" (Copacabana, 1974)

Elizeth Cardoso "Elisete Cardoso" (Copacabana, 1976)

Elizeth Cardoso/Various Artists "Fragamentos Ineditos Do Historical Recital No Teatro Joao Caetano Em 19 De Feveriro De 1968, v.3" (Museu De Imagem E Do Som, 1977)

Elizeth Cardoso "A Cantadeira Do Amor" (Copacabana, 1978)

Elizeth Cardoso "Live In Japan" (Copacabana/Global, 1978)

Elizeth Cardoso "O Inverno Do Meu Temo" (Som Livre, 1979)

Elizeth Cardoso "Elizethissma" (Som Livre, 1981)

Elizeth Cardoso "Outra Vez Elizeth" (Som Livre, 1982)

Elizeth Cardoso "Recital" (Victor-Japan, 1982)

Elizeth Cardoso/Radames Gnattali/Camerata Carioca "Uma Rosa Para Pixinguinha" (Funarte, 1983)

Elizeth Cardoso & Atualfo Junior "Leva Meu Samba" (Eldorado, 1984)

Elizeth Cardoso "Luz E Esplendor" (Arca Som, 1986)

Elizeth Cardoso & Rafael Rabello "Todo O Sentimento" (Columbia, 1990)
Of all the Cardoso albums I've heard (so far), this is probably the most striking. Recorded in 1989, this is a stripped-down collaboration between the bossa diva and the babyfaced choro guitar virtuoso Rafael Rabello. This was Rabello's first major work after a debilitating auto accident, and his accompaniment is sensitive and compelling throughout, only occasionally slipping into more searching, jazzy terrain. Cardoso, who was nearly 70 years old when this album was recorded, shows remarkable vocal strength and great interpretive powers. Her style is still melodramatic, but less intrusively so. This apparently was Cardoso's final album, and it's very good, definitely worth tracking down.

Elizeth Cardoso "Ary Amoroso: Elizeth Canta Ary Barroso" (Sony, 1991)


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