Brazilian Album Reviews

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





NOTE: for bands such as Os Fevers, Os Incriveis, Os Mutantes, etc. -- See: Fevers, Incriveis, Mutantes, etc.




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Obina Shok "Obina Shok" (RCA/Celluloid, 1986)



Oitos Batutas - see Pixinguinha


No Olho Da Rua "Hard Bossa" (Paulo Rego, 1999)
An adequate but unremarkable smooth jazz album, featuring saxophonist-composer Paulo Rego and pianist Roberto Alves. With the exception of two songs adapted from Villa-Lobos and Ary Barroso, all the songs are Rego originals. It's not a bad album, just not my cup of tea.


No Olho Da Rua "O Feijao Da Bre" (Tratore/Ethos, 2004)


No Olho Da Rua "Sacopenapa" (Tratore/Ethos, 2005)


No Olho Da Rua "Ele E Carioca" (Tratore, 2007)


Oliveira E Seus Black-Boys "Em Novas Travessuras Musicais" (Copacabana, 1962--?)
This was a dance band led by Sao Paulo-born saxophonist Antonio Oliveira da Souza, with vocals by a gal identified only as "Maria." The album has six tracks total, each being a three-song medley. The song "Dang Dang" resurfaced on compilations several decades later, taken from this old album. I'm not sure if Oliveira recorded any other albums as a leader... Anyone know more about these folks?


Cesar Oliveira "Compositor E Trompetista Do Ouro" (Revivendo, 2003)


Mauricio Oliveira "...E Seu Violao" (Musiplay, 1960)


Mauricio Oliveira "Um Violao... E Novas Emocoes" (Musiplay, 1960)


Lincoln Olivetti & Robson Jorge "Robson Jorge E Lincoln Olivetti" (Som Livre, 1982)
Pianist Lincoln Olivetti was one of the most ubiquitous producers of the 1970's MPB scene, working with many of the biggest stars of the era, and helping shape the mainstream MPB sound, for better or for worse. Amazingly, this appears to be the only record he recorded under his own name, a pop-oriented jazz-fusion set with guitarist Robson Jorge.



Olodum - See artist discography



Lisa Ono - see artist profile



Os Originais Do Samba - see artist profile


Vania Orico "Encontro Com Vania Orico" (Sinter, 1958)
(Arranged by Leal Brito)

Ms. Orico was a Brazilian actress who landed parts in several Fellini films, and also made a few records, which perhaps should be considered vanity projects. This is an odd album that mixes early bossa nova (a couple of Jobim songs) with older samba-cancao and has a rather genteel, folklorish sound. I'm not sure if the fustiness was a result of Orico's songbirdish vocals or from Leal Brito's arrangements, but for the most part this album is too old-fashioned and rinky-dink sounding for me... There are a couple of straight-up samba songs that are okay, but she gets on my nerves, and I guess overall I'd rather just listen to old Carmen Miranda records, and stick to the good stuff. This didn't do much for me.


Vania Orico "A Volta De Vanja Orico" (Chantecler, 1967) (LP)


Vania Orico "Vanja Orico" (Seta, 1981) (LP)


Vanja Orico "Te Quero Brasil" (Independente, 1989) (LP)


Vanja Orico "The Music Of Brazil: Recordings 1955-1958" (Black Round Records, 2009)
This digital-only release includes the 1958 Encontro album, along with some earlier stuff...


Orlandivo "A Chave Do Sucesso" (Musicdisc, 1962)


Orlandivo "Orlann Divo" (Musicdisc, 1963)


Orlandivo "Samba Em Paralelo" (Musidisc, 1965)


Orlandivo "Orlandivo" (EMI-Odeon, 1977)


Orlandivo "Sambaflex" (Deck Disc, 2006)


Orquestra Afro-Brasileira "Obaluaye" (Todamerica, 1958)


Orquestra Afro-Brasileira "Orquestra Afro-Brasileira" (Columbia, 1968)
A fascinating album... Much is made about Brazil's African cultural heritage, but this album delves deeper into those roots than most, with clanging, metallic percussion and loose horn arrangements that echo the early dance bands of mid-20th Century West Africa, as well as Yoruban traditional music. The tracks, which are all credited to Abigail Moura, explore the orixa spiritual tradition, as did their first album from a decade earlier, Obaluaye, Cool stuff.


Orquestra Arco-Iris "Palmas Para O Samba!" (Polydor, 1963)
Zippy, forceful, frequently goofy big-band arrangements of popular samba-cancao and bossa nova themes are the trademarks of this sleek orchestra. Led by saxophonist Arcy Barbosa, Orquestra Arco-Iris was the house band at TV Rio in the early '60s, and they clearly didn't mind making light of "the hits," adding comedic touches on a number of tracks, as well as intrusive handclaps as punctuation and as a way to make them sound more poppy and modern. Mostly, they had an overly-robust, muscular approach, sort of a harkening back to the jazzy swing style of the old gafieira bands, leavened with orchestral pop kitsch popular at the time. Sort of a Doc Severinsen-meets-Ary Barroso feel. Mostly this is too corny for me, though some songs are close enough to the Orquestra Tabajara style that I can get into it... If only they didn't all have that hand-clapping thing going on all the time! Oh, well. Worth checking out, though mostly the appeal would be to lounge-music fans.


Orquestra De Camara Rio Strings "Fantasia Brasileira" (Biscoito Fino, 2003)
A fine modern classical performance, featuring work by four composers -- the prelude to "Bachianas Brasileiras No.4," by Heitor Villa-Lobos, who was sort of the Bela Bartok of Brasil, mixing folkloric and popular themes with dense, highbrow musiciality, opens the album, and it is a real winner, a cool, eliding progression that butts up against the atonal school. This is followed by a medley of songs by pop-classical keyboardist Wagner Tiso, who solos on the performance, and then a piece by Cesar Guerra-Piexe (who I've never heard of) and closes with a more galloping number by Francis Hime, a tune which seems to have more than a smidge of Copeland to it. I readily admit I am no expert in classical music, but I did like this recording, particularly what I took to be a notably accomplished take on Villa-Lobos's work. Nice stuff... recommended!


Orquestra De Dancas "Jubileu De Ouro Do Sindicato Dos Musicos Profissionais Do Rio De Janeiro" (Sinter, 1957)
Shock and awe, samba-style... Actually the music is underwhelming but the lineup of musicians in this jovial big-band outing is like a membership list of the jazz/orchestral elite of the pre-bossa nova era, folks like arrangers Lyrio Panicali and Astor Silva, sax players K-Ximbinho and Paulo Moura, pianists Fats Elpidio and Zeca, and drummer Dom Um Romao... And I'm just hitting the highlights -- there are dozens of other players on here, and the sound is bright and robust, cheerful orchestrations of numerous samba-cancao and choro oldies. It's not mind-blowing, but it's really fun to listen to... And man, what a lineup!


Orquestra Fantasia "Distracao" (Penthon, 1962) (LP)
A pleasant, though perhaps unremarkable bossa-pop set... Mostly light orchestral stuff with a little pop/samba bounce, and a couple of rock-oriented tunes from back when the Brazilians still thought the "hully gully" was a major American dance craze, with vocals that sound a little like Louis Prima. Apparently fabled avant-arrangenik Rogerio Duprat had something to do with this album, and though he isn't credited on the album or in the liner notes, you can hear his signature sound on some of the string arrangements. Overall, this seems like a very cobbled-together, see-what-sticks hodgepodge of various popular styles -- the teenybopper rock stuff is the least convincing, but probably the most noteworthy, especially to devoted scholars of Brazilian jovem guarda. Not a great record, but it has its charms. Nice bikini, too.


Orquestra Imperial "Valsas Eternas, v.1" (EMI-Odeon)


Orquestra Imperial "Valsas Eternas, v.2" (EMI-Odeon, 1966)
Old-fashioned waltzes, tunes by Strauss and Tchaikowski, played by a Brazilian orchestra, but pretty much "straight," (i.e. without discernable Brazilianness). It's an odd record to have been reissued on CD but, actually, it's kind of nice, in a square but not-too-fusty way. 'Taint no samba, though. (Not to be confused with the pop-samba outfit of the same name, which made records forty years later...)


Orquestra Imperial "Carnaval So Ano Que Vem" (Som Livre, 2007)
(Produced by Berna Ceppas, Kassin & Mario Caldato, Jr.)

A far-flung cast of generation-next Brazilian upstarts propel this giddy, willfully cheesy mix of Brazilian pop and old-school Latin-dance schmaltz. It's unusual to hear Brazilians plying themselves so directly to Cuban-style salsa and son, but Orquestra Imperial seem to make it their mission, adapting it with Portuguese lyrics and numerous original compositions. The bandmembers include singer Thalma De Freitas, old-timer Wilson Das Neves, and all three of the guys from the "+2" project -- Domenico, Kassin, and Moreno Veloso -- along with their pal, guitarist Pedro Sa, who recently made his mark fronting an electric rock band backing Brazilian pop legend Caetano Veloso on his album Ce. I have to confess, although I was prepared to really enjoy this album, I wound up finding it hard to get into. The production is slick and fairly cheesy, and although that slickness is (partially) being used in an ironic way, the joke doesn't really carry. Some of the grooves are cool, but everything feels mediated and remote -- they're so busy being clever, cool and self-congratulatory, they never really seem to let their hair down and just enjoy the music, or to let the music take over, rather that the recording of the music. It seems heavy on concept and coyness, and light on either the genuine joyfulness or the cool reserve that has made many of the earlier albums (under their individual names) that have made these young artists so noteworthy. I bet these guys would be a blast to see live, though!


Orquestra Imperial "Fazendo As Pazes Com O Swing" (Mais Um Discos, 2014)


Orquestra Popular De Camara "Orquestra Popular De Camara" (Adventure Music, 1998/2004)
Benjamin Taubkin leads this eclectic ensemble through a smooth, soft-jazz set with rich layers of indigenous Amazonian traditions (courtesy of Nana Vasconcelos, who plays percussion), African motifs and a hefty dose of bossa nova... Vocalist Monica Salmaso was also part of this project, though her contributions are a bit muted, compared to her own solo albums. Overall, this is a bit too gooey and amorphous for me, though I'm sure for fans of super-mellow world-jazz, this disc would be a real treat.


Orquestra RCA Victor "Hi-Fi Samba" (RCA Victor, 1968)
(Produced by Alberto Soluri)

Big band-y instrumentals, with musical direction by bandleader Zaccarias and arrangements by Nelsinho and Mestre Carioca... The liner notes don't call out individual artists, but one imagines it's the usual cast of characters, with four saxophonists, four trombones, robust percussion, etc., as well as an equally anonymous vocal chorus that does a super-goofy scat-singing accompaniment to a bouncy version of Ary Baroso's "Aquarela Do Brasil." This is sort of a gafieira jazz-meets-Mancini outing, with the easy listening vibe clearly winning out. Includes several Jobim songs, and one by Carlos Lyra, showing the ascendency of the bossa scene. Pretty kitschy and not quite as meaty or complex as Zaccarias's earlier work under his own name... Still, easy listening fans might get a kick out of this.


Orquestra Rio De Janeiro "Velhas Ideias Novas: 30 Anos De Samba" (Plaza, 1960)
(Produced by Henrique Gandelman; arrangements by Severino Filho)

Samba-cancao oldies from the 1930s, given a glossy hi-fi era makeover, with swinging, bright, brassy big-band arrangements, in sort of a Doc Severinsen/Billy May style. I'd count this one as a guilty pleasure -- maybe not as robust as contemporary bandleaders like Severino Araujo or Zaccarias, but cheerful and fun nonetheless. Apparently Severino Filho of Os Cariocas was involved with some of the arrangements, although I don't know who the actual musicians were... Anyway, kind of a fun, jaunty old record -- nostalgia on top of nostalgia. And, yes, producer Henrique Gandelman is indeed the father of jazz saxophonist Leo Gandelman... guess talent ran in their family!


Orquidea "Choro E Samba Em Niteroi" (Rob Digital, 2001)


Os Ostras "Os Ostras" (Top Cat/Abril, 1997)


Os Ostras "Operacao Submarina" (Top Cat/Abril, 1998)
(Produced by Brian Butler)

Ska-tinged, surfy, power-pop indie-rock from Brazil? I am so there! The first song is a bouncy indie-pop tune that's kinda catchy... Unfortunately most of the rest of the songs are just straightforward surf-garage instrumentals, and while it's cool to know that there are bands in Brazil that play this style of music, it's not something you couldn't hear plenty of places elsewhere. Os Ostras play well, though: bet they were fun live, too!


Os Ostras "Os Ostras" (Top Cat/Abril, 1997)


Ostheobaldo "Passa O Corredor" (EMI, 2003)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica & Grupo Vai-Vai "Vamos Sambar" (Discos Marcus Pereira, 1974) (LP)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica "Historia Do Samba Paulista, v.1" (UMES, 1995)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica "Preto No Branco" (Rio 8 Fonografico, 2005)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica "Convida Em Referencia Ao Samba Paulista" (Rio 8 Fonografico, 2006)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica "70 Anos" (Tratore, 2010)


Osvaldinho Da Cuica "O Velho Batuqueiro" (Tratore, 2013)


Otto "Samba Pra Burro" (Trama Music, 1998)
(Produced by Apollo 9)

First-rate Brazilian electronica, liberally mixing hip-hop beats and samba riffs into a richly-textured ambient backdrop, with the occasional drum-and-bass skittering-about. The best tracks on here are outstanding -- and where there's one record this good, more are sure to follow. Otto was once the percussionist for the band Mundo Livre s/a... Sounds pretty good, too, here on his first solo outing...


Otto "Condom Black" (Trama Music, 2001)
Otto gets a bit spacier and mellower on this disc, in some ways perhaps less "electronic", but still kinda cool. He even does a bit of more or less straight-up shoegazer electric guitar pop, and sings on hseveral songs. I can't say that this album leapt out at me the way the best tracks on Samba Pra Burro did, but it's certainly easy on the ears and worth checking out if you want something kinda mellow to listen to. (By the way, I know that Beto Lee, who pitches in on this album, is Rita Lee's son... does anyone know if Valmir Gil, who also plays on this album, is related to Gilberto?)


Otto "Sem Gravidade" (Trama Music, 2003)
(Produced by Apollo 9 & Otto)

Getting even looser and more indierock, Otto opens up with the giddy, guitar-y "Lavanda," followed by the dance-y "Tento Entender," which features guest vocals by Rita Lee (and her son Beto, on guitar....) The rest of the album slips into spacier, less poppy material, odd, off-kilter tunes that have a laidback, bossa-esque feel to them. By using less high-tech sound processing over the lyrics, Otto reveals the plainness of his own voice, giving this album a more personal, intimate feel. Another mellow record, certainly worth checking out.


Otto "MTV Apresenta" (Trama Music, 2005)


Otto "MTV Apresenta" (DVD) (Trama Music, 2005)


Otto "Certa Manha Acordei De Sonhos Intranquilos" (Nublu, 2009)


Ovelha "Coisas Do Coracao" (Copacabana, 1988)


Ovelha Negra "Amor De Rapariga" (Atracao, 2002)


Ovelha Negra "Ao Vivo" (Atracao, 2004)


Dante Ozzetti & Ceumar "Achou!" (MCD, 2006)
Na Ozzetti's brother, guitarist/producer Dante Ozzetti, in collaboration with singer Ceumar Coelho...


Na Ozzetti "Na Ozzetti" (MCD, 1988)


Na Ozzetti "Na" (Nucleo Contemporaneo, 1994)


Na Ozzetti "LoveLeeRita: Cancoes De Rita Lee Desde Os Mutantes" (Dabliu, 1996)
A tribute to Brazilian rocker Rita Lee... Ms. Ozzetti may be Rita Lee's number one fan -- this album of cover songs sure would be a strong indicator. But, like her idol, Ozzetti's music is plagued by goofy, mainstream pop production -- she's a little less over-the-top than Lee, but this stuff still doesn't float my boat.


Na Ozzetti "Estopim" (Na Records, 1999)


Na Ozzetti "Show" (Som Livre, 2001)


Na Ozzetti & Andre Mehmari "Piano E Voz" (MCD, 2005)




Brazilian Music - Letter "P"



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