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Maria Creuza portrait

Although singer Maria Creuza was pretty much of an MPB second-stringer, some of her early albums were pretty nice. She's not the most dynamic or charismatic vocalist, and her arrangements were often pretty mushy, but there's still some pleasant stuff worth checking out. Besides, I've only heard a few of her albums, so this is a page that will doubtless deserve some updating as time goes by...


Maria Creuza & Apolo 11 "Apolo 11 Com Maria Creuza" (JS Discos, 1969)
A fascinating historical curio, featuring singer Maria Creuza before her emergence as a solo artist, working here with songwriter Antonio Carlos Marques, who went on to become half of the duo Antonio Carlos & Jocafi... Not only that, but Tutty Moreno, later a key player on the Brazilian jazz scene, is sitting in on drums! Despite the trippy, Space Age artwork, this is a fairly conservative set of bossa balladry, hardly the sort of perky pop-samba crossovers that Antonio Carlos later became known for, and a fairly sedate set, for all concerned. It's nice, but it sounds old-fashioned and out of date, considering the dynamism of the tropicalia scene at the time. Still, it's certainly worth checking out, particularly if you're a Creuza fan.

Maria Creuza/Vinicius De Moraes/Toquinho "La Fusa" (Odeon, 1970)
A bossa nova classic, featuring Creuza along with the newly-formed partnership of poet/composer Vinicius De Moraes and his partner, acoustic guitarist Toquinho. Apparently the album was named after an Argentine nightclub where Vinicius met the already-formed duo of Toquinho and Creuza... Filled with bossa standards and a few new tropicalia tunes, this is a lovely record, and certainly one of Creuza's best efforts. Oddly enough, the album was later re-recorded with MPB diva Maria Bethania taking Creuza's place as the pair's diva-muse. Nice stuff -- highly recommended!

Vinicius De Moraes/Maria Creuza/Toquinho "Vinicius De Moraes Grabado En Buenos Aires" (Eldorado)
The same material, issued under a different title...

Vinicius De Moraes/Maria Creuza/Toquinho "Live In Buenos Aires" (Circular Moves, 2002)
The same classic, early '70s collaborations of the time of the "La Fusa" show, with all three artists performing at their peak. Creuza, who later became pretty chesesy and commercialized, is wonderful to hear on these early performances. This US reissue has great sound quality, and it definitely worth tracking down!

Vinicius De Moraes/Maria Creuza/Toquinho "O Bem Amado" (Soundtrack) (Som Livre, 1973)
Soundtrack album from a popular '70s soap opera on TV Globo.

Maria Crueza "Yo...Maria Creuza" (RCA, 1971)
This elegant, but florid, set of bossa-cum-pop vocals firmly established Crueza as a compelling second-stringer. The material is mainly Brazilian standards -- "Mais Que Nada," "Dindi," and several other Jobim tunes, delivered in honeyed tones, over syrupy string arrangements. This description ay sound harsher than I mean it to... this is a pretty solid record, but it is also very cheesy. (Reissued on CD as "Grabado En Buenos Aires")

Maria Creuza "De Onde Vens" (RGE, 1972)

Maria Creuza "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar" (RGE, 1972)

Maria Creuza "Eu Disse Adeus" (RCA, 1973)
Broader song list... (Jocafi, etc.) including one long medley track.

Maria Creuza "Sessao Nostalgia" (RCA, 1974)
A super-gooey, glossy MPB set. Although she's mining Brazilian gems of the past ("Luz Negra," "De Conversa Em Conversa," Lupicinho Rodrigues, Lucio Alves, Cartola, etc.) the musical vibe is distinctly modern, with cloying, amorphous '70s-fusion keyboard riffs galore, and lots of lingering notes from all concerned. Too drippy for me. Includes a particularly florid vocal arrangement on "Pra Dizer Adeus" and a pleasantly milky version of "Com Acucar, Com Afeito." But mostly? Yeesh.

Maria Creuza "...E Os Grandes Mestres Do Samba" (RCA, 1975)
(Produced & arranged by Rildo Hora)

A solid selection of old-school samba tunes, including several songs by Cartola, Nelson Cavaquinho, Martinho da Vila, Ze Keti, Elton Medeiros, Monarco and others... Certainly one of Creuza's rootsiest records, with backing by a mix of the elite samba-pagode players and slick MPB-jazz session players such as Ze Roberto Bertrami and Sergio Barroso... It works out pretty well, though -- this is a listenable, gentle record. Indeed, it's interesting to hear this kind of music played with such a mellow feel, in contrast to the robust, riotous albums coming out of the pagode scene at the time. Strangely enough this subdued pop approach sounds somehow less formulaic in some ways than the rootsier stuff from Martinho Da Vila, Alcione, and the others. Certainly worth checking out.

Maria Creuza "Meia Noite" (RCA, 1976)
This opens with several lovely, elegant tracks, then slows down a bit into a thicker, slushier poppish material. All in all, though, this is one of her stronger early albums, a fine mix of rich '70s-style bossa/MPB, along with boleros and jazz-flavored soft pop. Definitely worth checking out. Creuza's vocals are at their warmest and most confident on many of these tracks.

Maria Creuza "Doce Veneno" (RCA, 1978)
Keeping pace with Maria Bethania's torch singing, Crueza slows the pace a bit, for this fairly classy, low-key set of ballads. An interesting mix of fusion-era modernity and whispery-voiced bossa restraint. Not a lot of variety of tone, but it's a solid album -- one of her only records I've ever heard that I sort of liked.

Maria Creuza "Maria Crueza" (RCA, 1979)
In my early explorations of Creuza's work, I encountered many of her albums that I simply saw no reason for me to hang onto. This one seems typical: slushy, slow pop balladry. I'm not particularly fond of her voice, either, although it isn't overtly objectionable. I find her to be a mediocre artist; you might be more charitable.

Maria Creuza "Pecado" (RCA, 1979)

Maria Creuza "Seducao" (1981)

Maria Creuza "Poetico" (RCA, 1982)
(Produced by Rildo Hora; arrangements by Wagner Tiso)

A very glossy, jazzed-up MPB tribute set, recorded in honor of Vinicius De Moraes, who gave Creuza her big break in the early '70s... The opening numbers are near-horrific, starting with an oily soft-jazz saxophone which is buoyed by fusion-y keyboards (courtesy of arranger Wagner Tiso) and a disco-y rhythm section... But just when you're ready to write this off as a hopeless product of its times, Creuza settles into a mellower mode, with a modern but passable rendition of "Agua De Beber," and a pleasant, cavaquinho-led acoustic number ("Lamento") and a couple of other understated ballads. Of course, it doesn't take long for the cheesiness to reassert itself -- the synthy modern arrangements and electronic instruments are just too inherently tacky... And yet, Creuza is an appealing vocalist, and gets in some nice work on this one... Just in between the margins, as it were. Worth checking out, but it tilts towards ickiness.

Maria Creuza "Paixao Acesa" (Arca Som, 1985)

Maria Creuza "Pura Magica" (Arca Som, 1987)

Maria Creuza "Da Cor Do Pecado" (Som Livre, 1988)

Maria Creuza "Todo Sentimento" (Som Livre, 1991)

Maria Creuza "Voce Abusou" (1997)

Maria Creuza "La Mitad Do Mundo"

Maria Creuza "Com Azucar E Com Afeto"

Maria Creuza "Convite Para Ouvir" (1992)

Maria Creuza "Felicidad" (1994)

Maria Creuza/Vinicius De Moraes/Toquinho "Grabado En Buenos Aires" (El Dorado, 2000)

Maria Creuza "Momentos Bons Da Bossa" (Som Livre, 2002)

Maria Creuza "Ao Vivo" (Albatroz, 2004)

Maria Creuza "Canta Vinicius De Moraes" (Iris, 2005)
Not sure of the vintage of these recordings...

Maria Creuza " E Melhor Ser Alegre Que Ser Triste: Maria Creuza Interpreta Baden Powell" (Biscoito Fino, 2007)

Maria Creuza "...Interpreta Baden Powell" (Iris Music, 2008)


Maria Creuza "O Melhor De..." (BMG, 1997)

Maria Creuza "Focus: O Essential De Maria Creuza" (BMG, 1999)

Maria Creuza "Perolas" (Som Livre, 2000)

Maria Creuza "2-Em-1" (BMG, 2000)
A straight reissue of her first and last albums for the RCA label, 1973's Eu Disse Adeus and Poetico, from 1982.

Maria Creuza "O Talento De Maria Creuza"


  • Louis Briand's website has an extensive essay on the album and play, La Fusa, with particular attention paid to Maria Creuza... (In French.)

  • All Brazilian Music also has a nice entry for Creuza, with a good discography and English-language profile...

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