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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Moacir Santos

By Ken Micallef
Published December 12, 2006

Chorus & Alegria
Adventure Music

While not as universally hailed as some other Brazilian music icons, Moacir Santos is in some circles a celebrated, nearly legendary diviner of Rio de Janeiro style. He taught Sergio Mendes, Roberto Menescal and Nara Leão, and composed hits with Vinicius de Moraes and Mário Telles. His shadow looms large. He’s heard on this disc performing some of his most cherished material with a cast of guests, led by guitarist Mario Adnet and soprano saxophonist Ze Nogueria. Santos recreates lush versions of tracks originally found on such classic albums as 1965’s Coisas and 1975’s Carnival Of The Spirits. Wynton Marsalis is the album’s biggest superstar ringer, though he’s joined by Ricardo Silveira, Armando Marcal and others. Under Santos’ direction, Chorus & Alegria flows like the Amazon, streaming through arrangements buzzing with subtle percussion and solos that sound like composed thoughts. The tracks flow seamlessly, one into the next, with a soothing, irresistible glow that is as welcome as the Brazilian breeze. This is a disc that earns the word “alegria” (pleasure) so prominently placed in its title.