Luizao Maia & Banzai featuring Bebel Gilberto De Trade, Vendo O mar

Bebel, daughter of bossa nova pioneer Joao Gilberto, has made a name for herself in recent years due to the international dance community's ongoing obsession with all things Brazilian. Her irony-free nu-lounge collaborations with everyone from Thievery Corporation to Holland's Arling and Cameron to Deee-Lite DJ/producer Towa Tei have seduced the world. But before she discovered down-tempo beats, Gilberto recorded this decade-old collection with the "father of samba jazz" Luizao Maia and his band Banzai. Previously available only in Japan, De Tarde, Vende O Mar displays Gilberto's deft singing style as it floats above the tropical bossa nova arrangements, which only occasionally veers into sappy saxophone solos. With the tracks written in Japanese and translated into Portuguese, the lack of lyrical comprehension simply adds to the record's relaxed demeanour, as you can settle into the sensual sounds without concerning yourself with whatever messages may lie within. It might not feel as cutting-edge as her Tanto Tempo follow-up is bound to, but this recording offers a wonderful snapshot of an emerging talent whose voice effortlessly tackles traditional Brazilian pop and makes it her own. (True North)