A Day in New York, recorded at the end of a U.S. tour the group made in 2002 in support of the Casa release is, simply, Morelenbaum Squared's live set performed -- live -- in a New York studio. The emphasis, of course, is on songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim, although Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto, and even Ryuichi Sakamoto and Paula Morelenbaum get a look in. The music is exquisite, gently understated, and shimmering like a heat mirage. Morelenbaum is a more than capable singer, and often a delight here (as on "Fotografia"), while Sakamoto is the real revelation of the album. He blends in so perfectly it's hard to believe he's not Brazilian; he's deft in rhythmic support, and never pushes too much on his solos. Cellist Jacques Morelenbaum is the veteran, but he keeps a sense of discovery in his playing, and the inclusion of the bowed instrument offers an almost chamber music-feel to this music, bringing another dimension to the sound. The three are the focal points, but kudos too, to the guitarist and drummer, who keep in the background, but offer vital support. It's remarkable just how familiar many of these songs are; not merely the obvious "Desafinado" and "Chega De Saudade," but "Samba De Avião" and "Fotografia." In a way, it's like chancing upon an old friend after many years, and finding a new richness. A joy to the ear.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson