Muito Unico is an unmatched collection of softly styled MPB with José Luis Bonfá’s songwriting skills to frame talented Jean Felix on her memorable debut album. A five-star ‘one-hit wonder’.
On Muito Unico, Jean Felix has a deep and richly textured voice, which invites comparison to Swing Out Sister’s Corrine Drewery – a modern-day Brazilian chanteuse with a jazzy sensibility and a special ability to really get inside a song and bring its story to life.
Here’s a story that unfortunately is seen all too often in music – a talented, emerging artist debuts with a wonderful recording, full of promise and great songs, then disappears from sight.
Jean Felix chose family over a career as a singer, but her 15 minutes of fame expanded to include 12 original songs and one unforgettable album. Its almost as if the stars aligned for this one special moment.
Jean Felix was first discovered more than 20 years ago in her adopted hometown of São Paulo, Brazil.
Like Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento and countless others before her, she rode the star making machinery of Brazil’s music festivals to a first place finish as best singer in both 1984 and 1985.
Such recognition is usually an instant springboard to success, but Jean chose a different path. Like many of us, she made the difficult choice of family over career, and dropped out of sight for many years.
But the story had a happy ending. A decision to return to her passion for music resulted in a self-titled album (Better known as Muito Unico by Jean Felix, due to the success of the album’s opening song), a tastefully arranged blend of sophisticated and urbane Brazilian pop, more in line with the classic, Beatles-influenced sound of Milton Nascimento than the more rhythmic Bossas and Sambas of Rio.
Jean Felix has a deep and richly textured voice, which invites comparison to Swing Out Sister’s Corrine Drewery, though she cites Des’ree, Sade, Oleta Adams and Anita Baker as primary influences.
You get the idea: A modern-day pop chanteuse with a jazzy sensibility and a special ability to really get inside a song and bring its story to life. Impressively, Felix’s music has held on to the timeless nature of qaulity recordings.
And what songs. Like so many Brazilian singers, Felix shows a gift for song selection, or more precisely, for songwriter selection. Most of the songs on Muito Unico, were composed by guitarist Marcello Montes and composer José Luis Bonfá (nephew of the great Luis Bonfá). Besides being a perfect fit for her unique voice, they are the kind of instantly catchy, memorable tunes Brazilian music is rightfully famous for.
Years later, Jean Felix returned to the studio for a sophomore recording, but the magic from her first CD had passed, and the album was never released. Today, she remains a special talent on the São Paulo club scene.
Incidentally, the Brazilian title of this release is Muito Unico by Jean Felix, which means “very unique.”
Here in the States, such a name must have been seen as redundan. One listen, and you’ll be delightfully aware that, in Portuguese, this isn’t the case when a singer like Jean Felix creates a once-in-a-lifetime CD.
- Sign up for our emails on music, travel, friends and fun. Listen to our ‘always live’ streaming station and our 12 streaming music channels, always free. Browse our Lifestyle Directory. Click here to like our Facebook page and here for Brazilian events coast to coast.
Personnel: Jean Felix (vocals, background vocals), Flavio Franco Araújo (piano, keyboards, drum programming, guitars), Marcello Monte (guitars, background vocals), Márcio Rezende, David Richards, Rodrigo Botter Maio (saxophone), Geni Montes, Wlad Mattos (background vocals).
Muito Unico by Jean Felix
Produced by Flavio Franco Araújo. Recorded at Bongó Produções Musicais, São Paulo, Brasil.
Total Time: 52:05
- Muito Unico (Very Unique)
- Cuide-se Bem (Take Good Care)
- Passagem (Passage)
- Tarde (Afternoon)
- Lua Cheia (Full Moon)
- Sentido (Sense)
- Herôis Sob a Chão (Underground Heroes)
- Atrás de te Ver (Running To See You)
- Todo Mundo Sabe (Everybody Knows)
- Tempo (Time)
- Como te Vejo (The Way I See You)
- Lua Cheia (Instrumental)
And our ‘One Track’ for Muito Unico by Jean Felix? Here’s the title song.