Rosa Passos is one of the few singers currently in Brazil dedicated to a genuine evolution of Brazilian music, devoid of fashionable trend and commercialism. She has established herself firmly in the country's artistic scenery, acknowledged by many such as João Gilberto, Maria Schneider, Clare Fisher, Paquito d'Rivera, Johnny Alf, Nana Caymmi (who recorded two of her compositions), and even the number one enemy of bossa nova, the fundamental music researcher J.R. Tinhorão, even if she hasn't had her deserved media exposure.
This album reflects the seven-year international experience of Ivan Lins, with the careful production by Stewart Levine and Larry Williams. The thoughtful balance between Brazilian elements turned more palatable to international audiences through pop touches made it a big hit, the patriotic "Meu País." All lyrics in this album are from Vítor Martins (with a bit of Aldir Blanc), his longtime musical partner, and his business partner since the previous year when the label that released this and other Lins' albums, Velas.
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, From Havana to Rio showcases the strong playing of a master on a cross-cultural journey, back and forth between two of the most important focuses of Afro-Caribbean artistic creation. Brazil and Cuba share a common legacy, product of a similar historical experience. They share as well, a common projection in this new century. Ernan Lopez-Nussa travels at ease from one place to the other, speaking fluently in both musical languages. His own compositions are classy, elegant, and his re-interpretations of the wellchosen standards for this project are embedded with his trademark.
One of the finest Afro-Cuban jazz projects in recent years. Tight, spicy, and full of unexpected turns. There is a whole lot of talent in this band.