Bossa Antigua picks up the samba-based rim shots of drummer Connie Kay on Take Ten and tries to make a whole new record out of them. While the title track duplicates the original percolating groove of "El Prince," other tracks like "Samba Cantina" revert to a typical bossa nova rhythm of the period, which leads one to conclude that "bossa antigua" is merely whatever Desmond says it is. Of the album's two non-originals, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," of course, is made-to-order for Desmond's wistful, sophisticated temperament, and he delivers exactly what a Desmond devotee would expect and love; and "A Ship Without a Sail" has some memorable off-the-cuff solo ideas. Jim Hall is around again to lend subtle rhythm support and low-key savvy in his solos, and like many Desmond companions of this period, he makes a fine sparring partner in the contrapuntal exchanges. The Brubeck Quartet's Gene Wright again lends a sturdy hand on bass. The playing is wonderful throughout, though just missing the full-throttle inspiration of Take Ten.
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AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell