For 25 years the Brazilian ensemble Minas, led by husband-and-wife duo Orlando Haddad and Patricia King, have made their home in Philadelphia, settling here after bouncing between North Carolina and Brazil. They’ve released four albums (and recorded two that remain unreleased), played and taught around town and do community work to bring Brazilian music to area children.
With the upcoming release of their fifth proper album, Bossa Nova Day , they’re not abandoning their roots, but they are shifting gears slightly. “This project is different because it’s the first time we focus on the essence of song and songwriting,” King explains. For the first time, Minas is recording as a duo.
Previous albums, she says, would feature “a song or an instrumental piece with jazz improvisation, bass, drums, percussion, horns, and this time around the song is stated, the lyrics are very strong, everything is highlighted around the songwriting.”
The 10 tracks on Bossa Nova Day are refreshing interpretations on the sounds of modern and classical Brazil. The album’s title track leads things off with a coy and cool, ahem, bossa nova beat that lets hips sway and caipirinhas flow. The rest of Bossa Nova Day responds in kind, and the duo nature allows the album to seem intimate and soothing, from the upbeat dance tunes through the delicate, sorrowful ballads.
“On this CD, we blend North and South a lot more. Brazilian influences, American influences—the last track has a very bluesy piano against a samba beat,” Haddad points out.
Reflecting on the band’s long history, Haddad says, “It seems like this album is more mature in many different ways, but the music itself, the vision of the music, is still the same. I have a song on this album I wrote when I was 17 years old. Those songs I still feel are some of my best.” ■
Mon., Nov. 16, 7:30pm. $25-$30. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com