Robert Lamm

The Bossa Project

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Although Robert Lamm, singer/songwriter/pianist of Chicago, has revealed a taste for Latin music among many other styles in his songs (e.g., "Another Rainy Day in New York City"), this solo album is a considerable departure for him. It is what it says it is, a collection of bossa nova arrangements on which Lamm serves as singer. The other major force in the project is John Van Eps, who plays piano, percussion, bass, and "orchestral programming," in addition to arranging and producing. (He also wrote "Samba in Your Life" and co-wrote "Haute Girl" with Lamm.) On his previous solo albums, Lamm has staked out a musical personality similar but not identical to the one he occupies in Chicago, largely writing his own pop/rock songs. Here, although he does have three writing credits, he is largely a vocalist. For that, he uses his conversational midrange, taking it, as one song title put it, "Nice ‘n' Easy," but observing the Latin rhythms and managing to get through all the words on the potential tongue twisters "A Man and a Woman" (the theme from the 1966 Claude Lelouch movie) and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Aguas de Marco." This may be a busman's holiday for a rock singer/songwriter, but it may also suggest an alternate career path, and at very least demonstrates Lamm's versatility.

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