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Zizi Possi portrait Vocalist Zizi Possi is one of the classically slick, "classy" Brazilian singers, whose work on the Phillips label became so ornate and overproduced that even she had a hard time putting up with it. In the early 1990s, Possi left her major label contract in order to simplify and have greater control over her own music. Possi's background lies largely in the theatre, and her live performances are one of her greatest strengths. Although many of her albums may be too florid for the casual listener, there are also many moments of grace, and Possi's voice is always quite confident and fluid. Here's a quick look at her work...


Chico Buarque "Chico Buarque" (Philips, 1978)
Zizi Possi's recording debut came on this pleasant, samba-oriented album, with "Pedaco De Mim" being the song that helped her break through as a recording artist. Forro superstar Elba Ramalho also guests on here (quite early in her career, as well). Buarque himself is in fine vocal form and the arrangements are quite good -- a couple of songs hint at the cheesy production which would later dominate his work, but on the whole this is a very nice record. Recommended.

Zizi Possi "Flor Do Mal" (Philips, 1978)

Zizi Possi "Pedaco De Mim" (Philips, 1979)
(Produced by Sergio De Carvalho)

Vocalist Zizi Possi swiftly settled into a comfortable niche as one of Brazil's "classy" pop balladeers, with plenty of soft, sleek arrangements. This early album offers a wider stylistic variety, however, kicking off with a perky salsa-funk number that is buoyed by a lively performance from the band Cor Do Som, from the Black Rio soul scene. Other tracks branch out into Beatles-y melodic pop, the inevitable brace of syrupy ballads, and even a graceful Portuguese-style fado, written by Duardo Dusek-Cassio. Possi's voice is youthful and bright, and is mixed well, not yet buried in the gauzy production style that would characterize her later work. (Several arrangers work with her on this album, including Octavio Burnier and Milton Nascimento. ) A nice, adventurous album... definitely worth checking out!

Zizi Possi "Zizi Possi" (Philips, 1980)
One of Possi's better albums. Although some of the instruments and stylistic affectations are rooted in post-disco era cliches, Joao Augusto's arrangements remain fairly simple and understated. More importantly, Possi's voice is quite lovely, and her presentation is refreshingly direct and restrained. This marks the start of her long association with Augusto as producer/arranger, and remains one of the high-water marks of that collaboration.

Zizi Possi "Um Minuto De Alem" (Philips, 1981)

Zizi Possi "Asa Morena" (Mercury, 1982)
(Produced by Joao Augusto)

As mentioned above, Possi's background is in the theatre, which translates on record as a propensity for torch songs and cabaret-type material. She's got a gorgeous voice, but the "quiet storm" style pop sound on this album is atrocious. Full of tacky electric keyboards & icky arrangements, produced by Joao Augusto. Avoid.

Zizi Possi "Pra Sempre E Mais Um Dia" (PolyGram, 1983)

Zizi Possi "De Um Role" (Philips, 1984)
(Produced by Joao Augusto)

An embarrassingly bad synth-pop album, also produced by Joao Augusto. I hated this record, but I'm open to suggestions for other albums to check out...

Zizi Possi "Zizi" (Philips, 1986)

Zizi Possi "Amor E Musica" (PolyGram, 1987)

Zizi Possi "Estrebucha Baby" (PolyGram, 1989)

Zizi Possi "Sobre Todas As Coisas" (Eldorado, 1991)
Ah-ha! A reader suggestion, responding to some crabby comments above. Apparently, in the early 'Nineties Possi ditched her major-label contract for a while, and pursued her theatrical interests, and shifted her attention to less glitzy music. This album marks a welcome retreat away from the ornate, synth-poppy arrangements she'd been cast in before, into a more stripped-down cabaret style. This style isn't entirely my bag, so the album didn't blow me away, but it's certainly a lot easier on the ears than the slick stuff she'd recorded before, and much more of her personality comes out in the vocals. Definitely worth checking out.

Zizi Possi "Valsa Brasileira" (Velas-Brasil, 1993)
Another reader suggestion, responding to the comments above. This jazzy album features some of Possi's brighter, more creative arrangements. She tackles a lot of familiar material, but from unusual and unexpected vantage points -- working with a small trio of instrumentalists, Possi introduces some creative melodic and rhythmic twists into material by the likes of Gilberto Gil, Edu Lobo, Geraldo Pereira, and even old-timers like Pixinguinha and Jackson do Pandeiro. Although by the end of the album, the band starts to sound bit static, overall this is one of the freshest-sounding albums of its time... Certainly of her albums that I've heard, this is the one that I would most strongly recommend.

Zizi Possi "Mais Simples" (Philips, 1996)
Generally speaking, I am a fan of arranger Rodolfo Stroeter's work, and it must be said that this torch-song-ish album frames Possi's voice better than her stuff in the '80s. More often than not, though, the arrangements are pretty saccharine, even if they aren't as overblown as they could be. Iffy, but effective in parts.

Zizi Possi "Per Amore" (PolyGram, 1997)

Zizi Possi "Passione" (PolyGram, 1998)
All songs in Italian.

Zizi Possi "Puro Prazer" (Universal, 1999)
"Uma voz, uma piano..." This is a pleasantly stripped-down set of Brazilian, Italian and Latin American ballads, richly presented with only Possi's voice and piano accompaniment by Jether Garroti, Jr. His playing is minimal and sparing, her vocals expressive and fluid; together, their presentation has a gravity and warmth that elevates these songs above the standard-issue MPB pop-vocals rut. This album is a lyric-lover's delight, with every turn of phrase present in the listener's mind, clearly expressed and emotionally resonant. Pretty classy stuff, with material by Gilberto Gil, Geraldo Vandre, Chico Buarque, etc., and some pleasant surprises, such as Violetta Parra's "Volver A Los Dieciseite," one of the best melodies to come out of the Latin American "new song" movement. If you're looking for a classy set, with crisp, art song presentation, this is an album worth tracking down.

Zizi Possi "Bossa" (Universal, 2001)


Zizi Possi "Personalidade" (Philips, 1991)

Zizi Possi "Minha Historia" (Philips, 1993)

Zizi Possi "Colecao Obras Primas" (Philips, 1997)

Zizi Possi "Millennium Collection" (Philips, 1998)

Zizi Possi "Pedaco De Mim: O Melhor De Zizi Possi" (Philips, 1998)
Not to be confused with her 1979 album, Pedaco De Mim.

Zizi Possi "O Melhor De Zizi Possi, v.2" (Universal, 2000)

Zizi Possi "Serie Sem Limite" (Universal, 2001)
A nice, affordably priced 2-CD set that covers the full span of her association with Phillips and Universal.

Zizi Possi "A Bossa De Zizi" (Universal, 2001)
Amazon says this is a box set of some sort... (Although I think there's a possibility it's also just a more expensive version of her most recent album, of the same title...)

Zizi Possi "Serie Gold" (Universal, 2002)

Video & Film

Zizi Possi "Per Amore" (1998) (DVD)
Includes videos for seventeen songs.


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