Oswaldinho Do Acordeon
Forró Novo
Piranha (www.piranha.de)

The northeastern style of forró (foh-HO) began as music for poor country folk, and has undergone a recent revival. The traditional forró lineup is a trio playing accordion, triangle and a zabumba bass drum. While some contemporary performers have embellished that formula, Oswaldinho do Acordeon plays a stripped-down style that looks back to forró's origins, though he uses a bit of electric instrumentation. Recorded live in the studio, the album has the fleet-fingered improvisations of a jazz ensemble, and is played with the effervescence that has animated forró dances for decades.

Forró dancers are known for their suggestive close-dancing: think lambada without the hype. While only a few Americans know how to move to forró properly, the music's infectious party spirit makes for a sweaty, sloppy festa right out of the dusty dancehalls of the towns of northeastern Brazil. - Marty Lipp