As charming as sultry Brazilian chanteuse Céu was on her eponymous debut, last summer's follow-up, Vagarosa, proved even more enchanting. Her supple, sensuous voice caresses and stretches syllables with a remarkable insouciance, and when multi-tracked, she can even sound like Bob Marley's old backup group, the I Threes. Already known for mixing samba and bossa nova with electronica, trip-hop, reggae, dub, jazz, and pop, Céu makes the intoxicating blend positively sublime on Vagarosa with the assistance of cutting-edge producers Beto Villares, Gustavo Lenza, and Gui Amabis, plus a string of notable guests, including drummer Curumin, singer Luiz Melodia, and members of Nação Zumbi and Mestre Ambrósio. The seamless integration of roots and contemporary elements has an organic feel that reflects the album's name, which means slow, as in easygoing. In fact, it is insidiously languid and sophisticated, as sly rhythms sidle up against a trumpet flirting with dissonance, a dub pulse buoys simmering melodies, or a jaunty Ipanema bounce bristles with wiry guitar, juicy bass, and warm electronic hooks.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 21. Continues through April 22, 2010