The Bossa Nova craze has been over for several years, but every so often an album comes out that proves there is still much to explore within the genre. Novas Bossas
, a collaboration between Milton Nascimento and the Jobim Trio, certainly has the pedigree to turn out a classic; Nascimento was one of the late stars of the Brazilian music scene and the Jobim's certainly have the music running through their veins. The end result is an entertaining album filled with the warm grooves and haunting melodies that bewitched the country over four decades ago.
The first five tracks are pure Nascimento; the haunting vocals and melancholy melodies would fit in perfectly on Courage, (Verve 2005) and are welcome additions to the vocalist's catalog. For the rest of the album the group explores the repertoire of Jobim (with one deMoraes composition thrown in for good measure). Jobim said that Nascimento was the vocalists that came closest to rendering his songs as he imagined them, and it's easy to see why here. The only really familiar song is "Chega de Suadade," the rest coming from more obscure sources yet still proving why Jobim is one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
Bossa Nova works best in an intimate performance of few instruments with simple melodies, and this is exactly what Nascimento and the Jobim Trio produce. The instrumentation is kept simple with no digital monkeying. The only exception is vocal multi-tracking, which adds an additional depth to complexity to the melodies, making them that much more beautiful. "Bossa Nova" means "the new thing," which is exactly what this bunch has given us; a collection that harkens back to the past while still feeling rooted in the present.
Personnel: Milton Nascimento: vocals; Daniel Jobim: piano; Paulo Braga: drums; Paulo Jobim: guitar;
Rodrigo Villa: bass.