Album: Just For Fun
Review: The colorful cover of Beleza's first album for families, Just for Fun, doesn't particularly stand out among kids music releases -- kindie covers are rarely monochromatic. But the music inside is far more distinctive, a mix of Brazilian music and jazz with a light touch and playful core. Without diminishing Humberto Oliveira Sales' guitar work and playing on other instruments, it's Madeleine Holly-Sales' vocals that most give this album a festive but sophisticated air. With a nifty blend of English-language covers (a swingin' "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book, "Little Liza Jane" with nifty guitar work, and a bilingual "I've Been Workin' on the Railroad") and songs in Portuguese (including "O Pato," about a duck and made famous Stateside by João Gilberto, Stan Getz, and Astrud Gilberto), the 33-minute album is like a jet down to Rio for a kid-friendly Carnaval weekend. (Should one of those things exist.) Definitely recommended.
Note: I was provided a copy of this album for possible review.