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  • Jonathan Widran

BENJI KAPLAN & RITA FIGUEIREDO, Benji & Rita


The packaging of this freewheeling, gorgeously orchestrated whirlwind through the many facets of Brazilian music (samba, baiao, waltzes, pop) by the dynamic husband and wife team of Benji Kaplan (composer, arranger, producer, guitar, vocals) and Brazilian born singer-songwriter Rita Figueiredo features English translations of the Portuguese lyrics that illuminate their vivid, poetic storytelling magic.

Yet even without knowing the literal meanings of these whimsical, deeply romantic sonic images of New York and Brazil, we can feel their passion via her eloquent yet often witty phrasing, his lush acoustic guitar and a multitude of colorful horns and strings that balance warm folksiness with a dramatic and emotionally compelling chamber music aesthetic.