Christmas is a very extraordinary time of year for Christians and especially for Christians living in Christian countries. A substantial part of the ambiance at Christmas is created by Christmas music.
Nova Bossa: Red Hot on Verve More than merely a variant on the traditional samba beat, the bossa nova has had a rich life since it emerged in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1950s. It was introduced to American audiences by returning jazz musicians, including guitarist Charlie Byrd, who shared some its most famous tunes with saxophonist Stan Getz. Getz's sweet, breathy tenor saxophone was its ideal American voice, and the bossa nova quickly became a popular craze, spurred by Getz's recordings with the composers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto (especially Getz/Gilberto). While the phenomenon would soon run its course, leaving a mass of forgettable recordings in its wake, it persisted as part of the rhythmic vocabulary of jazz and as a potent, transforming folk form in Brazil. This compilation includes the greatest hits of Getz's various collaborations, but it also presents a significant and varied sampling of bossa's Brazilian forms, including the politically charged tropicalismo movement founded by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. --Stuart Broomer
Brazil Classics 1 - Beleza Tropical - Cd Compiled by former Talking Head David Byrne and released in 1989, with liner notes and translations by Arto Lindsay, Beleza Tropical documents a New York hipster's first infatuation with the rich, deep, and varied spectrum of Brazilian popular music from the rebellious '70s. There are better Brazilian anthologies, but none so clearly assembled in order to counter the received opinion of Brazilian music as lightweight bachelor-pad fluff (although Milton Nascimento, with his beautiful high tenor, sometimes comes close). Caetano Veloso (whose magnificent "Terra" is itself worth the price of admission) and Gilberto Gil are remarkable lyricists whose music is influenced as much by the Afro-Brazilian rhythms of northern Brazil as by the Beatles. Jorge Ben contributes a pair of highfalutin yet funky soccer songs, Chico Buarque is at his most uncompromisingly poetic, and Nazare Pereira taps deep into Brazilian folklore. --Richard Gehr
On September 27, 1982, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He spent his early years growing up in the tough Hollygrove district. He started rapping at a very young age at local block parties, where he was heard by a group signed by Cash Money Records.