In Rotation: ‘Red Hot & Rio 2’

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A series in Sunday Calendar about what Times writers & contributors are listening to right now...

Not to cast stones at the two-left-footed among us, but those not propelled to move, or at the very least, tap a toe, to this double-disc collection of updated classic Brazilian music might need to loosen up a bit. Another in the long-running Red Hot series of benefit albums in support of AIDS research and the sequel to one of the best of the bunch, “Red, Hot & Rio 2” features ace collaborations from a host of artists who understand the music, including such Brazilian luminaries as Tom Ze, Caetano Veloso and Os Mutantes. The legends stand alongside younger South American musicians who have advanced the ideas of the native tropicalia movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, including Bebel Gilberto, Clara Moreno, DJ Dolores and Seu Jorge.


Combined with an international roster of artists, among them Angelique Kidjo, Jose Gonzales and Quadron, and a host of Americans — Beck, John Legend, Aloe Blacc, Cults, Madlib and Javelin among them — the result is a kaleidoscopic look at that uniquely Brazilian sound.

The highlights include Los Angeles native Mia Doi Todd’s exquisite take, with Swedish singer-songwriter Jose Gonzales, on Lo Borges and Marcio Borges’ “Um Girassol Da Cor Do Seu Cabelo,” which weaves a seductive rhythm and sneaky electric guitar line with the pair’s easy harmonies. Superhuman Happiness of Japan works with San Diego buzz band Cults on Caetano Veloso’s “Un Canto de Afoxe” to create a dance-floor breakdown, and Orquestra Contemporanea de Olinda teams with Brazilian rapper Emicida to create a sturdy but delicate dance number. Combined, it’s an infectious collection for both those who like to dance and those who could use a nudge. Various artists
“Red Hot & Rio 2”
(Red Hot Organization)


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In rotation: Material Issue’s ‘International Pop Overthrow 20th Anniversary Edition’

—Randall Roberts