Luanda Cozetti and Norton Daiello, a.k.a. Couple Coffee, bring an exquisite album showcasing classic Brazilian songs using nothing more than voice and bass. This combination is as unique as Puro, their new album. Recorded mostly in Rio de Janeiro in May 2005, Puro draws nearly half of its repertoire from the Noel Rosa samba songbook — not a bad idea for starters, since Noel Rosa was one of Brazil’s greatest songwriters. Other renowned songwriters featured in this release include Assis Valente, Hermínio Bello de Carvalho, Sueli Costa, João Bosco as well as Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso and Djavan. Two other less known songwriters, Márcio Proença and Marco Aurélio, are responsible for one of the most beautiful moments in this collection, “É Feio.” If you recall it, I reviewed Márcio Proença’s Facho de Luz a couple of years ago. Just like that album, “É Feio” is incredibly beautiful. I don’t think it’s been recorded by many people in Brazil. I personally only know two other recordings of that track: in Danilo Caymmi’s 1999 Eu, Você, Nós Dois… (also listed in the reliable and accurate database Discos do Brasil) and the other in the beautiful Marcos Lima’s Quem Canta album (Niterói Discos, 2004), which is unfortunately out of print at the time of this writing (there were only 1,000 copies made available). Here in Puro, Couple Coffee has the help from J.P. Simões adding a touching vocal solo with the inclusion of the classic Billie Holiday’s “You’ve Changed” (Bill Carey – Carl Fisher). Honestly, that song citation in this track is out of this world! It’s a perfect combination with “É Feio.”
Of all the Noel Rosa songs performed here, I tip my hat to the arrangement for “Gago Apaixonado.” If you’re familiar with that song, you will recall that it is about a stuttering man singing a love song about a disastrous break-up. Leave it to Noel Rosa to write such a humorous and sad love song. Besides Cozetti’s excellent vocals, Daiello’s bass accompaniment does the same stuttering as her voice. The opener in Puro also gets a very fine arrangement. The staccato duet of voice and bass is very creative. “Tipo Zero” is another song with a very creative arrangement. The bass lines here are very intimate and give the song a certain smooth, Bossa Nova feeling. As for Cozetti’s solo, suffice it to say it is very sexy. Her high notes in this track soar like an eagle. “Pastorinhas” gets a very respectful arrangement, almost like a religious hymn. Cozetti sings the entire song a cappella. In contrast with the softness of “Pastorinhas,” in “Último Desejo” the duo is joined by Gabriel Gomes’s accordion accompaniment. It’s a nice change in instrumentation as well as in tempo. Instead of a samba, “Último Desejo” is performed in a more frantic and demanding tempo. Quite innovative, I might add, and it works surprisingly well in spite of a couple of rough spots between voice and instruments. For João Bosco and Aldir Blanc’s “Incompatibilidade de Gênios,” Daiello’s bass line is again awesome. He truly steals the arrangement, even though Cozetti’s voice is in rare form, too. Of the three Jobim tunes recorded here, my favorite is “Chovendo na Roseira.” The semi-fast waltz tempo is beautifully carried by these two artists. Cozetti once again reaches some gorgeous high notes in this arrangement. She sounds very relaxed and in complete control of the tune.
Puro will easily please you with its new sound and creative arrangements. Thanks to Luanda Cozetti’s serene vocals and Daiello’s artistic command of his instrument, this unusual marriage of voice and bass alone provides one of the most refreshing albums of the year.
You can read more about this duo and the album at this site.
Transformadores 5 600304 510097 (2005)
- Conversa de Botequim (Noel Rosa)
- Chovendo na Roseira (Tom Jobim)
- O Orvalho Vem Caindo (Noel Rosa – Kid Pepe) w/ Vitorino
- Gago Apaixonado (Noel Rosa)
- Uva de Caminhão (Assis Valente)
- Tipo Zero (Noel Rosa)
- Pastorinhas (Noel Rosa – João de Barros)
- Último Desejo (Noel Rosa – Vadico) w/ Gabriel Gomes
- Cobras e Lagartos (Hermínio Bello de Carvalho – Suely Costa)
- É Feio (Márcio Proença – Marco Aurélio) w/ J.P. Simões
- Incompatibilidade de Gênios (João Bosco – Aldir Blanc)
- FIlosofia (Noel Rosa)
- Tapete Mágico (Caetano Veloso) w/ Jorge Palma
- Estrada do Sol (Tom Jobim – Dolores Duran)
- Asa (Djavan)
- Dindi (Tom Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira) w/ Sérgio Costa