Brazilian Album Reviews

This is a listing of miscellaneous albums and artists under the letter "J".
If an artist or album you like is not reviewed here, please feel free
to contact me and make a suggestion.

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Jacildo E Seus Rapazes "Lenha-Braca E Bronca" (1964)
Cooler-than-usual Beatles-era jovem guarda rock, with a distinctly rough, garage-y, surf/frat-rock feel; if other JG bands were emulating Bobby Sherman and Annette Funicello, these guys sound more like they were into the Kingsmen or the Champs. Their songs are clunky and fun; it would be nice to hear these guys collected on a set of more obscure JG bands... they seem like a very sincere, authentic expression of Brazilian fascination with American-style rock -- it's not perfect-sounding, and that's what makes it nice.

Jacy "Inspiraco" (Copacabana, 1974)

Nelson Jacobina & Jorge Mautner "Arvore Da Vida" (WEA, 1988) (LP)

Jair Do Cavaquinho - see "Do Cavaquinho"

Jamelao -- see artist discography

Jammil E Uma Noites -- see artist discography

Joanna - see artist discography

Joao Bosco & Vinicius "Acustico No Bar" (Atracao, 2003)
Cutesy, New Kids-ish, Brazilian boy-band pop, sung by the duo of "Joao Bosco" (Joao Bosco Homem de Carvalho Filho) and "Vinicius" (Vinicius Fernando Karlinke) who are not to be confused with the MPB greats Joao Bosco and Vinicius De Moraes. Not by a longshot.

Joao Bosco & Vinicius "Joao Bosco & Vinicius" (Atracao, 2004)

Antonio Carlos Jobim -- See artist discography

Jocafi - see artist discography

Joelho De Porco "Sao Paulo 1554 - Hoje" (Crazy, 1974)

Joelho De Porco "Joelho De Porco" (Som Livre, 1978)

Joelho De Porco "Saqueando A Cidade" (Continental, 1983)

Joelho De Porco "18 Anos Sem Sucesso" (Eldorado, 1988)

Joelma "Joelma" (Continental)
A pop vocalist from the jovem guarda era, Joelma Giro fit into the same mould as, perhaps, Connie Francis or Sylvie Vartan -- a reasonably perky, youthful singer who worked at the edge of outright rock'n'roll, but tapped into the teeniebopper vibe. One interesting feature is how much Italian pop she covered... One assumes she was of Italo-Brazilian heritage? Anyway, this isn't the best music of the era, but it's hardly the worst. Upbeat, fun, not cutting edge or totally rockin', but certainly worth a spin.

Joelma "Joelma Muito Mais" (Continental, 1968)
A lot of cover tunes -- including more Italian stuff -- and a lingering rock'n'roll sensibility on a tune or two. "O Mar Nao Falara" is a bouncy, fun tune, one of the standouts of her catalog, though the rest of the record is pretty syrupy.

Joelma "Casatschok: Aqueles Tempos" (Continental, 1969)
The rock vibe is almost totally absent, and with more straightforward '60s pop arrangements at the fore, her limitations as a singer become more apparent... Perhaps it's just the tenor of her voice, the low register and limited dynamics, that turn me off, but I wouldn't say this is a record you have to knock yourself out to track down. But if you enjoyed The Lawrence Welk Show ages ago, and would like to hear a Brazilian equivalent, then this might be your record.

Joelma "Vitrola Digital" (Continental, 2007)

Jongo Trio "Jongo Trio" (Gravodisc, 1965)
So far, I haven't been wild about the semi-bossa jazz trio albums I've heard (Tamba Trio, Zimbo Trio, etc.) but I've gotta say, these fellows -- who backed Baden Powell on some of his early recordings, and who worked regularly on the Elis Regina/Jair Rodrigues TV show -- are kind of fun... Their jazz chops seem stronger than many of their contemporary '60s Braz-jazz bands; there are hints of Thelonious Monk and early Miles Davis in here, and several lightly swinging tracks. I wound up not keeping this disc (or giving it to my radio station...) but it was still fairly interesting... worth checking out.

The Jordans "Serie Bis: Jovem Guarda" (EMI, 2000)

The Jordans "25 Sucessos" (2002)

Claudio Jorge "Coisa De Chefe" (Rob Digital, 1993)

Claudio Jorge & Luiz Carlos Da Vila "Matrizes" (2006)

Claudio Jorge "Amigo De Fe" (Zambo/Biscoito Fino, 2007)
Swank, elegant, pop-tinged samba with classically florid MPB arrangements, though with an overall restraint that keeps it classy. Sweet stuff, though not quite saccharine or gooey. Certainly worth a spin, though not quite the rootsy stuff. Like a very mellow Martino da Vila album.

Frank Jorge "Vida De Verdade" (Trama/YBrazil, 2003)
Excellent! A simple, unassuming set of contemporary melodic power-pop, sung em Portugues by songwriter Frank Jorge (formerly of the bands Cascavelettes and Graforreia Xilarmonica...) While not as bright or aggressive as some of the foundational '70s power-pop bands, such as The Romantics, Eric Carmen, et. al., this is still quite nice, even moreso since Frank sings all his lyrics in Portuguese, rather than English. (Yay.) This album is very much in keeping with the modern power-pop scene, recalling artists such as Frank Bango, The Wondermints, Pearlfishers, etc. If you like "foreign" indie rock, this is definitely an album you'll want to pick up! (PS - does anyone know if this is the same Frank Jorge who was active in the 1960s Jovem Guarda scene? Or is it just two different Brazilian rockers with the same name?)

Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti "Robson Jorge E Lincoln Olivetti" (Som Livre, 1982)

Odair Jose - see artist discography

Jota Junior "Nova Bossa Nova" (Musidisc, 1966)

Jota Quest "J. Quest" (Sony/Chaos, 1996)

Jota Quest "De Volta Ao Planeta" (Sony/Chaos, 1998)
(Produced & Arranged by Jaques Morelenbaum)

Jota Quest "Oxygenio" (Sony/Chaos, 2000)
(Produced by Marcelo Susskind & Ronaldo Viana)

Sometimes jittery, often ornate alt-rock/pop. The uptempo numbers (which may have been singles) such as "Oxygenio" and "Velocidade" are too hyperactive and cluttered for me, but softer songs, like the synthy "Dias Melhores," are kinda nice. I don't really listen to this kind of mainstream pop much -- in English or in Portuguese -- and it sounds a bit too prefab for me, especially with the layered guitars, etc. But for the style, I guess this is okay. Mostly seems pretty cheesy.

Jota Quest "Discotecagem Pop Variada" (Sony, 2002)

Jota Quest "MTV Ao Vivo" (Sony, 1996)

Jota Quest "Ate Onde Vai" (Sony-BMG, 2005)

Jota Quest "Rio De Janeiro: 28/01/2005" (Sony-BMG, 2005)

Jovem Braza "Samba Jovem" (RCA Victor/Vik, 1966)
This teen-oriented project included pianist Mario Castro-Neves, along with bassist Novelli as well as guitarists Chico Feitosa and Pedrinho (of the jovem guarda rock band, The Fevers), jamming together on a fusion of bossa nova and teenybopper rock... Haven't heard it, but I sure am curious!

Os Jovens "Os Jovens" (CBS, 1967)
(Produced by Jairo Pires)

These guys get name-checked in relation to Brazil's tiny garage-rock scene of the late 1960s, and are included in fine collections such as the "Hearts Of Stone" compilation. Although this album is tamer and closer to the mainstream of the "ie-ie-ie" pop, than their more raucous singles, it still shows a hipness and toughness that a lot of their JG contemporaries didn't quite have. Includes covers of Dave Clark Five and P.F. Sloan songs, as well as homegrown Brazilian rock by the likes of Renato Barros and Luiz Ayrao... Worth a spin!

Joyce - see artist discography

Julie Joy "Joias De Julie Joy" (Columbia, 1958)
Romantic vocals from the "radio singer" era... Julie Joy was a nice, expressive singer and the swooping big-bandy orchestral arrangements are actually quite fun, though completely over the top. A heavy non-Brazilian Latin dance influence on a lot of the tracks. Joy is comparable to many divas of the era -- Elizete Cardoso, Hebe Camargo, Dolores Duran -- but in many ways I find her more accessible and more enjoyable. Wonder why she wasn't more successful... But this is a very fun album.

Junior "Felicitacoes Ao Campeao" (RCA, 1982)
A pop-samba album recorded by athlete Leovegildo Lins da Gama Jr., a star player of the Flamengo soccer team... He also competed in the 1976 Olympics as well as two World Cup tournaments, in 1982 and 1986. This album includes songs written by well-known sambistas such as Jorge Aragao, Martinho da Vila, Noca Da Portela, Sombrinha and others, including a number of more obscure samba composers. I haven't heard this one, but I imagine it's relatively rootsy.

Jupiter Apple "Plastic Soda" (Trama, 2000)

Jupiter Apple "Hisscivilization" (Nolandman, 2002)
Hip Brazilian indie-rock, with an icy cool, ironic attitude. I liked the first track a lot -- a fifteen minute long, Moog-drenched prog-pop jam that could be compared to the ever-dreary Stereolab, yet is redeemed through its amatuerish rough edges, and comes off a bit more krautrock-y... something that the folks from Can could be proud of. The rest of the album is okay, too, though less audacious than this opening salvo. I was disappointed, though, that the lyrics were in English, rather than Portuguese -- it would have been much more fun the other way around. (Not that it matters that much; these songs are driven more by their grooves than by the lyrics... But I still prefer hearing "foreign" pop singers performing in their native languages; it seems so much more compelling and true to one's roots, somehow...) All in all, this disc is interesting for the light it sheds on Brazil's nascent indiepop scene, and it stands on its own with the UK and European music it seeks to emulate, though it also doesn't quite set the woods on fire. I'm telling you: they shoulda sung in Portuguese!

Jupiter Apple "Uma Tarde Na Fruteira" (Elefant, 2007)
(Produced by Thomas Dreher)

Far-flung, clever, eclectic, bilingual indie-pop -- this set is less groove-oriented and Stereolabby and more guitar-y, with chunky bits, psychedelic flights and spasmodic shifts galore. Os Mutantes are an obvious point of reference, since these guys are also from Brazil, but Redd Kross are another possible touchstone. Definitely worth checking out if you are interested in Brazil's teeny, off-the-radar indie scene. (PS -- I love the graphic art homage to the old Elenco label's cover art... Very groovy!)

Jupiter Apple "Jupiter Apple And Bimbo Presents Bitter" (Tratore, 2007)

Jupiter Maca "A Setima Efervescencia" (Polygram, 1996)
(Produced by Egisto; Arranged by Marcelo Birck)

Jangly indie-rock, sung in Portuguese, with nods to music by folks such as XTC and The Buzzcocks, with plenty of Beatles-y baroque psychedelia in there as well, and lots and lots of guitar. While I can appreciate the stylistic diversity and the pioneering elements (historically, Brazil hasn't been a major hotbed of indiepop...) I have to admit I found most of this record too shrill and irritating to really get into. But if you're eager to hear the Brazilian spin on classic indiepop and power-pop music, you'll definitely want to give this one a whirl.

Jurema "O Samba Nao Pode Parar" (Odeon, 1978) (LP)

Jurema "Eu Nasci No Samba" (Odeon, 1979)

Jurema "Sinal De Paz" (Odeon, 1980) (LP)

Jurema & Jandira "Outra Noite De Amor" (Copacabana) (LP)

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