Surely one of the world's most distinctive crooners, Milton Nascimento prepared an album of pop songs he's known for years, performed early in his career when he played innumerable Brazilian clubs, including the first song he ever wrote, "Barulho de Trem," as well as a range of pop classics from Brazil and America. Nascimento also looks back to his early years with his collaborators, including Bebeto from Tamba Trio on the chestnut "Mas Que Nada," his Clube da Esquina companion Lô Borges on "Resposta," and the bossa nova collective Os Cariocas on "Rosa Maria" and "Lamento No Morro." The arrangements by longtime friend Wagner Tiso are very sympathetic, and Nascimento's voice is just as full of power and grace as it was 20 years ago. The cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" may have been a mistake, but the rest of Crooner is a tribute to Nascimento's brilliant range of material and singing style.
by John Bush