BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s the mark of any accomplished artist that at a certain point they’ll leave the safe space of their signature sound and venture — even momentarily — into experimental realms that allow them to stretch some creative muscle. Mia Doi Todd’s stature is of the sort that she can afford to take a leap; after all, even after nine albums, she’s hardly a household name. Nevertheless, it’s still notable to find her venturing so far afield.
For this particular set of songs she travelled to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and teamed with a small group of musicians to record a series of tropical tunes that had her easily enamoured. Some will find it striking that she turned her attention to these lilting rhythms at all (all intoned in Portuguese no less), but earlier albums showed her adept at adopting a similarly suggestive sway.
Consequently, songs such as “Misterios,” “Portal da Cor” and “Cais” (the latter two penned by Brazilian legend Milton Nascimento) find her easily finding the groove these sensuous rhythms suggest. While most Americans have had little contact with these supple sounds, apart from an occasional track by Antonio Carlos Jobim and a fleeting glance of a certain girl from Ipanema, Floresta ought to provide a valuable visitor’s guide for the uninitiated, mood music at its most sublime.
DOWNLOAD: “Misterios,” “Portal da Cor,” “Cais”