Mônica Vasconcelos, Hih

Jon Lusk

By Jon Lusk

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Raised in the Brazilian metropolis of São Paolo, where she became steeped in Bossa Nova and MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Mônica Vasconcelos moved to London in 1992. It's there that she really made her name, and Hih is the sixth album she has recorded since, with her group Nóis. Returning the favour that Vasconcelos did by appearing on his recent Comicopera album, Robert Wyatt is the unmistakeable backing singer shadowing her light, sensuous Portuguese/English vocals on the soaring “Out of the Doldrums” and “Still in the Dark.”

The sixth album from one of Brazilian music’s shining stars, this time with a little help from Robert Wyatt.

The other material includes a couple of confidently handled Brazilian classics (most notably Martinho da Vila's “Disritmia”) with original material, much of it co-written with her long term keyboardist Steve Lodder. His fluid runs emphasize the jazzier aspect of MPB, and Adriano Adewale's percussion shows an agreeable lightness of touch throughout. It's a warm, subtle and slow-growing affair, which fans of Vasconcelos'compatriot Joyce should enjoy.