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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Various Artists

By Ernest Barteldes
Published April 27, 2007

The Gringo Guide To Bossa Nova
Universal Music

Clearly intended to introduce newbies to the world of the Brazilian beat that swept the world during the ’60s via Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd and Frank Sinatra, this collection opens with the 1974 Jobim/Elis Regina duet, “Águas de Março,” that solidified the latter’s international star status. Naturally, the goodies don’t end there—this well-chosen set includes a rare 1973 Gal Costa studio recording of “Desafinado” (Off Key) that features Dominguinhos on the accordion, and a beautiful rendition of “Outra Vez” by Nara Leão. Unfortunately, the recordings presented here are solely from musicians signed to the Universal Music roster (most of the major bossa acts were signed to EMI in Brazil), so there are no gems from Joao Gilberto on offer. However, the presence of Vinicius de Moraes, who reads his “Soneto do Amor Total” (Sonnet of Total Love) backed by Antonio Carlos Jobim’s band, certainly serves to legitimize this collection.