Baden Powell


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Baden Powell is among the greatest of the many guitarists who bridge samba and bossa nova and jazz. Alas, his finest recordings were on unobtainable small Brazilian labels. But even on these French recordings, with a mix of Brazilian and European musicians, he's outstanding. Melancolie contains a mix of familiar and less-known tunes, but mostly the latter. The overall sound is hotter than bossa nova (or most U.S. jazz-bossa), more mellow than most street-samba-based idioms. It also comes with strings, which are no improvement but are par for the course: most Brazilian musicians, even the most avant-garde, seem happy with string arrangements that would give you diabetes).