It’s All About Bossa Nova
The story about Vinícius Cantuária has been told before here on MúsicaBrasileira. How the singer from Manaus (1951) released catchy pop albums in the 1980s and reached the unwanted status of pop idol. To escape that commercial circus, Vinícius moved to New York (1994) to find his own direction in music. With the release of Canta Antônio Carlos Jobim.Vinícius Cantuária seems to have reached what he’s always been looking for: perfect interpretations of Jobim-classics, shaped in the unmistakably Cantuária way. It’s like his earlier albums form a path to this beautiful CD. It all comes together here.
In New York, Vinícius found inspiration in the music from the people he worked with: Arto Lindsay, Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, and Laurie Anderson. It gave his music a little eccentric touch, especially since the undertone still was bossa nova in its purest form. The soft voice and subtle guitar chords. It’s only Vinícius Cantuária who can combine the NY alternative music scene with bossa nova.
For this album Vinícius didn’t mind choosing Jobim’s best known classics. Even the worn out composition “The Girl From Ipanema” is shamelessly present. It’s amazing how Vinícius Cantuária even updates this song, according to some sources the second most recorded song in music history (after “Yesterday” from The Beatles). Vinícius strips it off to the very basic. Portuguese version, soft voice, acoustic guitar and a little percussion. Guitarist Ricardo Silveira was invited to playfully color in between the lines. It results in an interesting rendition of this big classic. Vinícius Cantuária invited more friend-musicians to join him in his unsurpassed dedication to bossa nova. Joyce (Moreno) sings on “Caminhos Cruzados” with beautiful guitar work by Chico Pinheiro. Another guest from Brazil is guitarist Celso Fonseca with his masterful bossa chords on “Vivo Sonhando”. Of course good friend Bill Frisell can’t be absent. His recognizable sound modernizes “Só Dança Samba” and “Inútil Paisagem”. Pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto sounds his lyrical self on two tracks. The most surprising guest is singer Melody Gardot, the 30 year old singer with the velvet voice from New Jersey. On “Insensatez” she sings the only English lines on the CD.Vinícius Cantuária sings his part of the lyrics in Portuguese.
Vinícius Canta Antônio Carlos Jobim is the album Vinícius seems to have been aiming for. It’s Bossa Nova in all its richness, gracefully sung in Portuguese with the best voice Bossa can wish for. The instrumentation is respectfully subtle and basic. It’s another gem in the discography of Vinícius Cantuária.
Vinícius Canta Antônio Carlos Jobim
Song X Jazz Sunnyside SSC 1428 (2015)
Tracks (all music and lyrics by Antônio Carlos Jobim, except where noted):
- Caminhos Cruzados (lyrics Newton Mendonça) – w/ Joyce Moreno & Chico Pinheiro
- Vivo Sonhando – w Celso Fonseca
- Sò Danço Samba (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes) – w/ Bill Frisell
- Eu Não Existo Sem Você (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes) – w/ Ryuichi Sakamoto
- Este Seu Olhar (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes)
- Retrato Em Branco e Preto (lyrics Chico Buarque)
- Por Causa de Você (lyrics Dolores Duran) – w/ Ryuichi Sakamoto
- Garota de Ipanema (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes) – w/ Ricardo Silveira
- Felicidade (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes)
- Insensatez (lyrics Vinícius de Moraes) – w/ Melody Gardot
- Inútil Paisagem (lyrics Aloysio de Oliveira)- w/ Bill Frisell
- Você Vai Ver