Bossa Nova Daydreams

Maritaca—contemporary Brazilian instrumental music at its finest

In my never-ending search for recordings of Brazilian music that satisfy my musical tastes, I have recently come across an excellent record label called “Maritaca“. On the English-language web pages for Maritaca, the label is described as “… a Brazilian Instrumental Music Label renowned for casting only the best Brazilian musicians and recording their contemporary Brazilian music. It is a company made by musicians, and dedicated to music.”

The label is under the creative direction of Léa Freire, an outstanding Brazilian flautist, who also performs on many of the label’s recordings. Maritaca, being based in São Paulo, showcases many “Paulistas” (natives of São Paulo)— who happen to be some of today’s most accomplished musicians working in the Brazilian jazz and what I’ll call jazz-choro-samba-classical crossover genres.

Léa Freire. Photo by Marcilio Godoi.

Léa Freire. Photo by Marcilio Godoi.

Besides Freire’s luscious low-pitched flute playing, there are many other top artists featured, such as percussionist Edu Ribeiro, Paulo Paulelli (whose beautiful bass playing I first encountered on Rosa Passos’ cd “Amorosa”), pianist Fabio Torres, singer-composer-guitarist Filó Machado, the big band “Banda Mantiqueira” and many others. The Maritaca website offers a lot of musical samples from the albums. One of the first that comes up on the website is “Vento em Madeira“. As soon as I heard the sample tunes I was ready to buy. Maritaca’s albums are available for purchase from a number of sources, including and

Incidentally, Trio Corrente, (Edu Ribeiro, Paulo Paulelli and Fabio Torres), which is one of the groups represented by the label, has a very good album that you can listen to in full on Grooveshark before you buy—just do a search for “Paulelli”.

The music on the Maritaca label varies in style and approach, but there are many common features, such as sophisticated, crystal-clear playing, super-tight ensemble work and excellent sound engineering. Stylistically, the albums on the label tend to offer a pleasantly angular, modern direction, while remaining anchored in Brazilian musical traditions of choro, samba, bossa nova and the classically-rooted legacy of Villa-Lobos. Highly recommended!


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