Latin Divas 1962- 1954

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Fremeaux & Associes
WORKS: Latin Divas 1962- 1954
CATALOGUE NO: FA 5108

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Don’t be fooled by the stereotypically generic title, nor put off by the absurd sleevenotes, which almost seem to have been written in the era covered (‘These two “cantoras de radio” were small, slightly plump and were dripping with jewellery’). This 2-CD collection is top-notch product.

The follow-up to the recent Latin Crooners collection (Frémeaux FA 191), Latin Divas is an intoxicating stroll down memory lane – an amazing roll call of the best female vocal talent (and their songwriters) to be found in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Cuba at the time. Familiar figures like Celia Cruz, Graciela, Carmen Miranda and the impossibly suave Elmira Rio all feature.

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So far so familiar, but the real gems are the lesser known singers like Linda, Marília and Dircinha Batista, Carmen Castillo and the fabulous Araci de Almeida, whose sultry sambas from the early 1950s are an absolute treat. Recomendado! Jon Lusk