Perhaps attempting to capitalize on the new popularity of Brazilian music on the heels of the film Bossa Nova, this six song compilation is culled from the A&M/CTI recordings that were post mortem to the mid-'60s bossa "craze." A different arrangement (by Deodato) of the Getz/Gilberto hit, "Girl From Ipanema" by Antonio Carlos Jobim himself is worth revisiting. Modal off minor piano accents inform flute led melody with big band and string vistas, punchy trumpets lilting and stabbing at this well known line. Though not a universally known hit from Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, "Like a Lover" is a pop samba sung in English by the '66 ladies with wafting strings and male/female call and response. The hard samba "Ponteio" is done by the neglected composer and performer Edu Lobo, as flute and acoustic guitar is driven by the infectious drums and Portuguese sung lyrics. Paul Desmond's classic alto sax with strings and insistent guitar are clearly focused on the popping samba "From the Hot Afternoon." The less familiar combo Tamba Four utilize light breezy flute with piano and "ahhhing" vocals on Luiz Eca's well revered tune "The Dolphin." The finale is one of the more powerful Brazilian songs of all time, Milton Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela/Clove & Cinnamon," a hot and heavy 6/8 burner with whistled intro, Portuguese singing from Milton's sweet but driving voice, and guitar chords. The tune is faded prematurely during a trombone solo. You may also be intrigued at how this edited track really sounded in its extended, jamming form. The complete recordings of Jobim ("Tide"), Desmond ("From the Hot Afternoon"), and Nascimento ("Milton"), are recommended as a further propagation of this album's prompt.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos