Sivuca

Live at the Village Gate

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The fantastic Brazilian artist recorded this album for Vanguard in the '70s, and the Gnome-like accordianist, guitarist, and singer is an astonishing composer of Brazilian jazz and folk, and he is loved by Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, and Gilberto Gill. If that is not reference enough that the kings of Tropicalia have all acknowledged Sivuca's influence, he was among the first Brazilian jazz artists to establish a career in the U.S.A. in the '60s. Simply, this album is an immaculate and uplifting collection of bossa nova-tinged songs, and their energy is matched only by Caetano Veloso's classic early-'70s albums. Reissued in the Universe series, their CDs are beautiful verbatim miniature replicas of the original Vanguard LPs, the live recording and performance are simply stunning, and Sivuca 's a brilliant multi-instrumentalist. Check out the version of "Ain't no Sunshine" penned by Bill Withers, which Sivica and cohorts turned into a delightfully up-beat bossa nova.