Ana Caram Maracana
- Released: August 26, 1993
- Originally Released: 1993
- Label: Chesky Records
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
While holding on tight to her bossa nova base, Caram ranges further afield in this Chesky outing to other strains of Brazilian music, even somewhat outside the country. Caram expands her palette to include a three-piece horn section -- Steve Sacks, Al Hunt (reeds), David Sacks (trombone) -- from whose versatile hands emerge a pocket-sized big band, a soulful flute choir, and other novel combinations. An occasional cello adds a brooding lyrical element, while an Argentine bandoneon sounds a bit cheesy and sentimental, and Caram herself plays an "electric" guitar with nylon strings -- which sounds only slightly more gleaming than an acoustic model. The album's clever title is the name of the title track, Brazil's biggest soccer stadium and an anagram of the singer's own name, though exactly why it reflects Caram's "two sides" as suggested in the packaging remains unclear from the album's contents. While it is a worthwhile experiment, this CD isn't as focused and as attractive as Caram's U.S. debut, Rio After Dark. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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