Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Samba Bossa Nova

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The burgeoning new scene in Brazilian music that began in 2000 continues to grow, as a new generation reinterprets and redefines the classic ideas of samba and bossa nova. Some are the children of those who made the music in the first place, while others simply have their own take on the sound, and this compilation does a fair, if not complete, job of bringing it all into focus. However, without Bebel Gilberto, or the late, glorious Suba, to name but two, it can never be more than a partial glimpse, so be warned. Quarteto Jobim-Morelenbaum combines descendants of the great Antonio Carlos Jobim with Jacques and Paula Morelenbaum for some beautiful chamber samba/bossa, a world away from the almost avant-garde imagination of Moreno Veloso, the son of Caetano Veloso, who throws all sorts of strangeness into the mix on the classic "Deusa Do Amor" -- but makes it work. For the most part, however, these performers don't stray too far from the tried and true. Even London-based Da Lata, who mixes electronica and mild club beats with live instruments and vocals, don't really push the envelope too hard. Still, there's a beauty in the music here, one which is timeless, and everything here is performed with a real feeling that lifts samba, and particularly bossa nova, out of the tacky lounge rut it had fallen into for too many years. While not the be-all and end-all, this is a very pleasant way to pass an hour or so.

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