Two LPs by bossa nova guitarist Bola Sete from the mid-'60s, The Incomparable Bola Sete and Autentico!, are heard in full on this Fantasy CD compilation. Aside from flutist Paul Horn, who is heard on five tracks, the supporting musicians (bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Nick Martinez) provide only rhythmic support to Sete's simple yet lyrical improvisations on his original material. Sete actually overdubbed an acoustic bass guitar, while Johnny Rae multi-tracked an additional percussion line in their three duets together. The later session, a trio affair with bassist Sebastian Neto and percussionist Paulinho, finds Sete in a bit more inspired mood. Highlights include his intricate "Brejeiro," the infectious "Soul Samba" (which conjures images of a Brazilian street parade), and the surprising rock & roll-flavored "Baion Blues." Although Sete was popular with jazz musicians like Jim Hall, Barney Kessel, and Wes Montgomery, and he also recorded several albums with Vince Guaraldi, the late guitarist never achieved the lasting fame of fellow Brazilians Antonio Carlos Jobim or João Gilberto. But this collection should serve as an excellent introduction to his music for those not already familiar with his work.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden