Kenia’s second release as a solo artist mirrored the success of her 1987 debut: ‘Initial Thrill’ and it finds both producer Peter Drake and guitarist Chuck Loeb again anchoring nine songs in English and Portuguese in this re-mixed album of earlier material.
The range of songwriters speaks for itself: Stevie Wonder, Toninho Horta, Rita Lee, Ivan Lins and Loeb are covered with the same breezy Brazilian pop style that has endeared the Rio native to her fans for decades.
Kenia’s dreamy vocals emphasize the visceral appeal of Brazilian music – melodies that are easy on the ear and arrangements that paint emotional vistas, which never fail to inspire visions of Brazil as we imagine it to be.
This album found it’s way onto the radio charts with the instrumental version of Distant Horizon in late 1988. Kenia’s ability to weave Brazilian magic into pop music from both sides of the equator created thousands of new fans, just as Astrud Gilberto had done twenty years earlier.
Rumor has it that the original master tapes of Kenia’s first two solo recordings were lost in a studio fire and subsequently, this CD remains a hard to find favorite.
From the liner notes:
Soft, smooth and sensuous.., the sounds of Rio de Janeiro!
The experts are saying there is a resurgence of Brazilian music around the world. But for us fanatics, it’s been a part of our lifestyle for decades. From Sergio Mendes and the 60’s Bossa Nova, to Flora Purim and Airto with Chick Corea in the
70’s to the current emergence of Djavan, Ivan Lins and Tania Maria.
The sounds of Brazil are here to stay. Zebra Records is proud to present one of Rio’s treasures: Kenia. The re-release of Rio/New York is a real celebration. It possesses the feel of hot Carnaval and smooth Samba with a passion for Jazz.
Half the songs have been remixed and it sounds better than ever. KENIA, in the tradition of a true “Carioca” expresses herself in song with an emotion known as “Saudade;’ a love and longing for her native Brazil. When I first heard Kenia the sultriness of her voice was so mesmerizing yet forceful with an intriguing sensuality.
The title track, ‘Distant Horizon’ was co-written by one of Brazil’s finest guitarists, Toninho Horta. Pat Metheny once told me, “He’s one of the best in the world.” ‘Distant Horizon’ shows he’s also a fine songwriter, and Kenia’s vocal approach towards this piece arouses the senses like no other artist I’ve heard since Astrud Gilberto.
Her rendition of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Crepin’ is easy and soulful with just the right touch of Bossa. Whether she’s singing in English or Portuguese, the music transcends into uncontrollable body movement. With the tune ‘A Voz do Brasil’ (The voice of Brazil), there is a happiness or “Alegria” that will most definitely give you the carefree feeling that Brazilians often experience... Tudo Bem!
‘Hit Or Miss’ is a song you should be able to hear on any number of Adult Contemporary radio stations nationwide. . Attention Programmers: her versatility as an artist is just fabulous.
You’re invited to experience the warmth and wonder of this great place known as Brazil, via Kenia’s ‘Distant Horizon - Rio/New York’. I personally guarantee you’ll enjoy your trip. Boa viajem!
KUTE “The Quiet Storm” Los Angeles