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Waleska portrait Maria da Paz Gomes, aka Waleska was a romantic singer and Brazilian nightclub owner -- in 1966 she founded the Fossa bar, and frequently played host to her friend, bossa nova poet Vinicius de Moraes while she herself specialized in boleros and other slower, romantic material. Here's a quick look at her work...

Discography - Best-Ofs

Waleska "20 Super Sucessos" (Polidisc, 1996)

Waleska "20 Super Sucessos Boleros" (Polidisc, 1998)

Waleska "Selecao De Ouro: 20 Sucessos" (EMI, 1998)

Discography - Albums

Waleska "Uma Noite Na Fossa" (Codil, 1968) (LP)

Waleska "Na Fossa" (Copacabana, 1971) (LP)
A remarkably static set of lethargic, downcast ballads by a female singer known as Waleska, who is sort of in the same tradition as Maysa, Elizete Cardoso or Isaura Garcia... All the songs have the same basic arrangements and tempo -- a sluggish accompaniment by piano, organ, saxophone, sparse percussion and Joe Pass-ish electric guitar, with Waleska intoning at a snail's pace. One or two songs in this style would have been okay, but an entire album -- with no variation at all -- is downright dreary. I'll pass, although fans of boleros and the milky "fossa" subgenre may be more forgiving and more open-minded than I am.

Waleska "A Fossa" (Copacabana, 1974)
(Produced by Paulo Rocco; arrangements by Maestro Ribamar)

Nice! Although this isn't actually all that different from her earlier albums -- slow, deliberate, torchy crooning with moderate-tempo backing, sparse, yet emotive -- this disc appealed to me more than the others. Worth checking out: it's sort of the same ballad/pop vocals thing Gal Costa was doing at the time, but less flashy and self-consciously rock star-ish. This album has a light, engaging feel, and is consistently compelling. Much of it has to do with the modest but attentive accompaniment by a Joe Pass-styled electric guitar, flowery piano and restrained flute... Definitely worth a spin, especially if you're looking for high-class Brazilian torch singing, but want to get away from the goopier romantic style of the bolero, which still had a hold on Brazilian ballad singers.

Waleska "Waleska" (Copacabana, 1975)

Waleska "Waleska" (Copacabana, 1977)

Waleska "Eu, Waleska" (Copacabana, 1978) (LP)

Waleska "Palavras Amigas" (Copacabana, 1979) (LP)

Waleska "Canto Livre" (Copacabana, 1980) (LP)

Waleska "Eta Dor De Cotovelo" (Copacabana, 1981) (LP)

Waleska "Com Amor" (Copacabana, 1985)

Waleska "Novo Jeito De Amar" (3M, 1988) (LP)

Waleska "Fossa E Bossa" (CID, 1990)

Waleska "...Canta Boleros" (2000)

Waleska "Boleros Em Espanhol" (Polimusic, 2002)


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