Ana Caram is an excellent singer and guitarist of Brazilian music, but this set lacks any real surprises. She only plays guitar on one song, sticking to singing while being backed by a rhythm section and the saxophones of Paulo Levi. The selections all date from the 1960s (other than her original "Pura Luz") and Caram is mostly cast in the role of Astrud Gilberto, performing Jobim tunes (including "Desafinado," "Corcovado," and "Triste") and other tunes from the era, including "Blue Bossa," "Fly Me to the Moon," and Baden Powell's "So Por Amor." The results are pleasant but very predictable, with no real chances being taken nor any fresh light shone on the veteran warhorses.
A superior Brazilian jazz singer, Ana Caram takes a slight detour on this CD, stretching her repertoire while mostly still performing in a style influenced by bossa nova. For lovers of life and music everywhere, here comes a disc to define the chart sweeping Rio Lounge considered so vogue today. Hollywood Rio is the authentic connection between an ardent Ipanema sun and lush, opulent Beverly Hills palm trees. Ana Caram’s silky voice takes you on a voyage through a world of Hollywood’s most memorable music - it’s Hollywood with a bossa groove.
A superior Brazilian jazz singer, Ana Caram takes a slight detour on this CD, stretching her repertoire while mostly still performing in a style influenced by bossa nova. One does not get to hear such songs as "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," "Smile," and "As Time Goes By" in a bossa nova setting that often. Also unusual is that Michel Freidenson plays all of the instruments other than the reeds (which are performed by Lawrence Feldman), and most of his electronic instruments sound real enough not to be an issue. The focus throughout is on Caram's lovely voice and she excels on this material, showing that it really is not what you sing but how you sing it. Recommended.