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B i o g r a p h y
 (by Official Site)

Born and raised in the Nilopolis district of Rio (home of the famed Beija Flor samba school), Rosalia de Souza has lived in Italy as a singer since 1989, building her CV with a series of single recordings with groups like Les Hommes and Quintetto X before meeting with label mate Conte in 1994. Eventually their collaborations expanded to include a brace of Bossa-tinged tracks for the "Break and Bossa" compilation series. These prototype sessions helped to lay the framework for Garota Moderna as her debut release.

Conte and de Souza's talents mesh very well and the proof is for all to hear. Amazingly, each of the CD's 13 songs is a keeper - unusual for most any solo recording these days and unheard of for a debut CD. As producer, Conte has a wonderful grasp on the true essence of Bossa Nova- a worldly innocence that is charming and pervasive; one which tempers our day-to-day realities as a safe haven for an uncomplicated moment.

And his largely acoustic arrangements provide Rosalia de Souza with the perfect musical setting. Her voice easily matches this vision. Lively and at times feather-light, she carries a range of emotion that echoes Astrud Gilberto's finest moments. But de Souza does more with it- bringing a sense of passion and sophistication to each song by acknowledging the subtle grace of Bossa's legacy. The result is at once contemporary, complimentary and wistfully retro.

In fact, Garota Moderna does such a great job with this rediscovery that its easy to forget that less than half the of these songs come Conte and de Souza's collaboration. Consider the covers: Baden Powell and Vinicius De Moraes' `Canto De Ossanha' (one of the original Afro-Sambas, reworked for the dance floor) becomes a showcase for de Souza's vocal strength and phrasing.

Clever choices abound: Lesser-known Bossa gems like `Adriana' and `Ipanema' from Roberto Menescal and Carlos Lyra's and Vinicius De Moraes' `Maria Moita' are a breath of fresh air when delivered with Rosalia's delicate style and Caetano Veloso's `Saudosismo' is elegantly engaged to the point where it outshines the original.

Six new songs continue the homage. `Bossa 31' and `Zona Sul' are instrumentals with Rosalia's soft scatting riding above the rhythmic drive. 'Mais' is a delicate down-tempo ballad while `Tempo Futuro' and `As Gotas' are both upbeat and catchy grooves in keeping with the spirit of the recording.

Garota Moderna succeeds in part due to its forthright approach: Conte and de Souza have done their homework and it shows; from the song selection to the arrangements and Rosalia's near-perfect performances. This has allowed them to avoid the formulaic doldrums that too often infect pop music. Because of their obvious creative ease, we get the feeling that "Garota Moderna" is completely comfortable in its own skin.

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