Vinícius de Moraes

Days in Mar del Plata

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This long-overdue reissue of a wonderful 1971 live disc -- recorded while Vinicius de Moraes, Toquinho, and singer Maria Bethania were in a two-week engagement in Argentina -- is an absolute delight. There's a wonderful lightness to the music, not all of which comes from the pen of de Moraes. Caetano Veloso gets a look in, as does Gilberto Gil. The overall sound, which de Moraes called "Musica Nova," really has most of its roots in samba and bossa (listen to "Tarde Em Itapoa" for a sublime example of samba from Toquinho, who acquits himself marvelously on guitar). Velvet-voiced Bethania is as wonderful as ever (in 1971 she was already a major Brazilian star), while de Moraes shines throughout, with a gentle touch to his singing, ending up with the poem "O Dia Da Criacao," aided by some instrumental accompaniment. Satisfying as a picture of Brazilian popular music (MPB) of the time, this remains a classy little record.

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