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  • Jonathan Widran


Although veteran composer John Finbury surprised the Latin music scene a few years ago with a Latin Grammy Song of the Year nomination for “A Chama Verde” and vocalist-lyricist Thalma De Freitas is a household name in her native Brazil, it’s a good bet most American fans of mainstream Brazilian music are hearing them for the first time via their charmingly exquisite Portuguese language dual album Sorte!

That name translates to “luck” – and that good fortune came to the duo via Latin Grammy winner Emilio D. Miler, who assembled a buoyant, seamless ensemble of Brazilian and American all-stars many jazz fans probably know pretty well. Helping bring these six soothing and soulful, rhythmically varied songs to life are Vitor Goncalves (piano, Rhodes, accordion), John Patitucci (bass) Chico Pinheiro (guitar), Duduka Fonseca (drums) and the legendary Airto Moreira (percussion).

The English translations of De Freitas’ spiritual, emotional yet deeply grounded lyrics enhance our understandings of the songs – i.e. the tender “Filha” is a sweet message from mother to child, and the spritely “Ondas” offers insight into the ethereal energy of the Universe. Yet sometimes, it just nice to listen to her seduce us in her native language and enjoy the way her voice conjures images that defy any verbal limitations.

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