Picks and Pans Review: Djavan

updated 02/10/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/10/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST


The blending of American and Brazilian styles has led to some unique, memorable pop music; think of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Flora Purim. Djavan Caetano Viana was born in northeastern Brazil and has become a big star in that country-thanks in part to the background music he's written for TV soap operas. He has made two previous albums backed up by such North American pop personnel as Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Hubert Laws and Harvey Mason. This album, which includes selections from those LPs, is the first to be marketed for American audiences. Djavan's singing style is livelier and less distant than that usually associated with Brazil but he still has that characteristic delicacy. The result, a kind of bossa-novafied rock, has a quiet urgency. That he sings in Portuguese is a problem (the record jacket carries translations), and some of the arrangements are string heavy. But Djavan's music is lullingly captivating, and the American sidemen fit in nicely—Wonder's delightful harmonica solo on Samurai is a prime example. (Columbia)

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