Vinicius Cantuaria Tucuma

His patron saints in his native Brazil include Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto, and Arto Lindsay, Laurie Anderson and DJ Spooky number among his New York cohorts. Vinicius Cantuaria truly stands astride tradition and the countless new directions open to the post-bossa nova movement known as tropicalia. Tucuma would seem to stand him in good stead to take the tropicalia balladeering and humid rhythms of tropicalia kingpins Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to urban audiences in North America without compromising the homegrown flavour of his music in the least, and not just because he still sings in Portuguese. Rather, like Virginia Rodrigues, Cantuaria infuses his profound knowledge and respect for Brazilian music with a subtle eccentricity. His ballads are as flushed with languid romanticism as any Jobim song, and bringing the archness and savvy of Bill Frisell, Sean Lennon, Anderson and Lindsay along only enhances their breeziness. As lovely and sultry as a heavily warm summer night and as restless as the futile attempt at sleep that follows. (Verve)