Milton Nascimento

Pietá

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It's been far too long since the great Nascimento released an album of new material, but on the basis of this, he's completely on form, not losing his golden touch at all. Dedicated to his late stepmother, it finds Nascimento mining the themes of childhood and love that have always been the very heartbeat of his music. And to help him explore them, he's used some colleagues from the days of the classic Clube Da Esquina, people like Lô Borges and Eumir Deodato. While most of this album is made up of songs, letting Nascimento's brilliantly luminous voice shine, there's also an instrumental excursion, "Cantaloupe Island," that brings in American jazzers Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny. It's pleasant, but hardly up to the high standards of the rest of this disc, such as the glowing saudade of "Tristesse," as powerful a song as any in Nascimento's excellent canon. Like all his work, it bears repeated listenings, not only to extract all the nuances from the arrangements and songs, but for the simple pleasure of hearing someone so good.

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