Deborah Swiney, “Bossa Nova Casanova,” from I Remember Rio
Hailing from the vibrant musical landscape of Memphis, Tennesee, Deborah Swiney is a vocalist whose honey-dipped voice feels at home in any genre. Her latest album, I Remember Rio, is an homage to the music of Brazil, with compositions that evoke both the gyrating rhythms of city life and the sand-lapped cadences of the beach.
A former backup singer for Al Green, Swiney shows a penchant for imbuing lyrics with vivacity and light. On “Bossa Nova Casanova” the singer sketches a vivid portrait of a steamy dance floor love affair, proclaiming the allure of a particularly sure-footed fellow: “Every time he took one step, he would sweep me off my feet,” she sings. You can almost feel the song’s temperature rise. The slithering strains of a violin solo generate some added heat, and the rhythm section’s ultra-smooth groove keeps the whole composition moving swiftly.