The concept behind this attractive but all-too-succinct compilation sounds like a question from a tropical version of the Trivial Pursuits game: Who is the only vocalist to have recorded at one point or another with all three of bossa nova's holy trinityAntonio Carlos Jobim
, Joao Gilberto
and Vinicius De Moraes
? It's surprising that there is only one answer to that question. But it's not at all shocking to learn that the singer in question is Heloisa Maria Buarque de Hollanda, better known as Miucha, a figure who connects a lot of dots in the Brazilian musical landscape. Miucha is the sister of Chico Buarque, the critical transitional figure between bossa nova and the later Musica Popular Brasileira; married to Gilberto, meanwhile, she is the mother of singer Bebel Gilberto
Miucha's voice and style is full-throated but reserved and cool, sensual and sophisticated, a perfect vehicle for this cross-section of mature (late 1970s) bossa nova. Enthusiasts will not want to miss this collectionalthough the record libraries of die-hard fans of Brazilian music likely contain most of this material in other configurations.
On the one hand, there are a few deliciously overripe numbers like only bossa nova can provide, such as the orchestral passages of "Samba do Carioca," with Jobim. In contrast, there are also moments of achingly beautiful purity: most notably, "Minha Namorada," a duet with de Moraes, the best parts of which are Miucha singing alone, accompanied only by acoustic guitar. A stunning specimen of Latin American song.
Jazz fans will be particularly interested in two tracks" Izaura" and a sublime "Aguas de Marco"from Stan Getz
and Joao Gilberto's The Best of Two Worlds
(Sony, 1976), an album that was not among the work included in the recent Getz bossa nova box set on Verve
. Getz's solos sound as if they might have been phoned in, but are nevertheless unmistakably and wonderfully his. Miucha, charged with providing English-language lyrics for the Getz sessions, relates in the liner notes a late night at the Luna Bar, where Jobim, aided by a pile of dictionaries, took it upon himself to translate "Aguas de Marco" using only English words not rooted in Latinjudge the results for yourself. Miucha com Vinicius, Tom, Joao
is sure to inspire listeners to seek out the source material from which this compilation is drawn, in particular the Getz/Gilberto record and the two albums with Jobim.
Personnel: Miucha: vocals; Tom Jobim: vocals, piano; Joao Gilberto: vocals, guitar; Vinicius de Moraes: vocals; Stan Getz: tenor saxophone; Chico Buarque: vocals, guitar; Toquinho: vocals; various artists.