Brazilian guitar genuis Luiz Bonfá issued literally dozens of albums in his lifetime. He is widely celebrated as a composer, bandleader, and interpreter of popular songs from many traditions. His two selections on the bossa nova breakthrough soundtrack Black Orpheus' are among its most most seminal cuts. That all said, almopst no Bonfá recording reaches the dizzying -- if gently stated -- heights of his art the way Introspection does. Recorded in 1972, this album features eight of Bonfá's compositions played on solo guitar--nylon-string, electric, and a specially designed 12-string. There is deep emotion in each track, portrayed by his elegantly articulated phrasing in spare passages of warm, haunting, sometimes somber, always deeply romantic poetic imagery. From the graceful expression of of his classical enunciations on "Enchanted Mirror," where each line is mirrored with chromatic counterpoint, to the shifting scalar morphing in "Reflections," to the gloriously complex yet seamless display of arpeggios on "Rain," to the shimmering Charlie Byrd and Django Reinhardt quotations in "Leque," Bonfá's guitar embodies th whole of not only Brazilian tradition, but also jazz and classical music as well. These compositions sing; they carry the fire and intervallic dimensionality of improvisation and intricacies and subtleties of song. Introspection is one of two titles in Bonfá's catalog that are musts--the other is the fusion classic, Jacaranda.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek