When the first glorious sunny days of spring come to give us the promise of summer to come, what better soundtrack to chase away the last traces of winter than some sweet bossa nova. Somehow the sound of bossa nova always manages to conjure up images in my mind of a desolate sandy beach with a lone figure walking off in the far distance. Light and shade, happiness and sadness, joy and melancholia ... all collide within the sound of bossa nova.
Now when people think bossa nova, they tend to mention Astrud Gilberto as its prime and most important female voice. Great though Astrud is, I think this is a great disservice to the rather superior Nara Leao who is not nearly as well known.
Nara Leao is (or was, as she sadly passed away way too early in 1989 at the age of 47) probably one of the most important figures in the story of bossa nova (which is why some people have dubbed her "Bossa Nova's Muse"). As a young girl she worked as a reporter by day and at night she surrounded herself at her parents spacious Copacabana apartment with all kinds of creative and artistic people who became the protagonists of bossa nova (Tom Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa, ...). But
She also used her art to evidence her social concerns and spoke out against the military dictatorship in