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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

MORELENBAUM 2/SAKAMOTO

By Michael Cowan
Published April 26, 2006

Casa
Sony

Never mind that it’s been more than 40 years since the heyday of bossa nova. There are reasons galore why a new generation of musicians (and fans) keeps returning to the music—the melodies, the lyrics, the gentle sophistication and the allure of Brazil all come to mind. So too do the timeless compositions by the master— the late great Antonio Carlos Jobim. Casa, a new recording featuring 16 Jobim songs—some classics, some less well known—is a transcendent, hypnotic collection from the super-talented trio of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Jaques and Paula Morelenbaum. Everything about this collection is stellar—Paula Morelenbaum’s vocals are wonderful, Sakamoto captures just the right feel for the music in his piano playing, and Jaques Morelenbaum’s cello as always adds a haunting touch. This is not just any homage to Jobim, however. The tracks were recorded in his house in Rio, featuring the very piano used by the master himself. For anyone who’s ever heard a Jobim song and marveled, this collection is a wonderful reminder of why Jobim was such a genius.