Another release by the best female vocal quartet of Brazil, Quarteto Em Cy. Sticking to the MPB style, all contemporary influences are put aside, and what the listener hears are acoustic sambas with the competent instrumental backing of expressive sessionmen. The album opens with Ary Barroso's "Isto Aqui é O Que É," representing the love for the Brazilian traditional samba, even if the old song has a new life through the re-harmonization and arrangements by female conductor Célia Vaz. Djavan's "Serrado," in a modern rendition with brasses, makes clear that the adhesion to MPB doesn't imply nostalgia. Then it's time for Bahian images: with special guest Gal Costa, they perform "Saudade da Bahia" and "São Salvador" from the master of the Bahian universe, Dorival Caymmi. Now listeners are in bossa times, with "Samba do Avião," where the quartet is helped by Leo Gandelman's sax in a very simple and conservative short solo. The old samba, with the delicate traditional regional accompaniment, is again remembered through one of Brazil's best samba composers of all time, Noel Rosa: "Último Desejo," with especial guest Zélia Duncan. With "O Mestre-sala Dos Mares" (song recorded by Elis Regina, among others) by João Bosco/Aldir Blanc, the impetuosity of the middle-class samba of the '70s is celebrated, just to give room to the unmistakable accent of the compositions by Toquinho and Vinícius, in "Mais Um Adeus" (with a special performance by MPB-4). "Sampa" comes next, with the theme of "Ronda" recalled in the introduction, drawing attention to the connection between both songs: both are unofficial anthems for the city of São Paulo, for different generations. "A Noite do Meu Bem" is performed like a bolero in the truly fossa tradition, reinforcing the romanticism and the drama of its pre-bossa times with the performance of Maria Bethânia. The samba de roda is in two compositions by Ivonne Lara, "Alguém Me Avisou" and "Não Chora Meu Bem." Fossa is once more remembered through the samba-canção of Lupicínio Rodrigues, "Nervos de Aço," with the participation of Miúcha. The samba Paulista is represented by Adoniran Barbosa/Alocin's "Samba do 'Arnesto,'" but the traditional Carioca reference is again invoked, this time by Cartola's fundamental "Alvorada" (with Hermínio Bello de Carvalho). The album closes on the high note of the modern samba of Paulinho da Viola, with the nostalgic "Foi Um Rio Que Passou Em Minha Vida" as the chosen vehicle. A strong album where the wonderful vocal quartet exercises their love for classical composers of Brazilian music in modern harmonies.
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AllMusic Review by Alvaro Neder