Vinícius de Moraes

Pure Bossa Nova

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Verve's Pure Bossa Nova series has, for its volumes on songwriters, billed the collections as "A View on the Music Of...." As with any other great songwriter, the work of poet and composer Vinicius de Moraes has traveled far, over several rocky roads that can't be blamed on the trails of the composer himself. Fortunately, Verve and its parent Universal possess a license for most of the best Brazilian music ever recorded, not just on Verve but also on Philips, making this volume an excellent -- though rather brief -- look at one of the five best composers in Brazilian history. His work is in good hands as well, interpreted by Elis Regina in the case of an effusive "Canto de Ossanha" from 1969, Antonio Carlos Jobim in "Agua de Beber" from an instrumental LP of 1963, Caetano Veloso in a live version of "Chega de Saudade" from 1992, and de Moraes' own versions of several tracks (as part of his early-'70s-and-on partnership with Toquinho). Also worthy of hearing are the beautiful tenor harmonies on Os Cariocas' "Ela e Carioca" and "Sabe Voce."

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