An extremely gentle, sweet and mellow sampler of love songs from Brazilian composers like Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá done by Brazilian singers and American jazz musicians, Rio for Lovers is as soothing and affirming as a light spring breeze, with nothing jarring to shake the mood of impending romance, and the whole sequence drifts softly by like so many strands of silk. Highlights include Elis Regina singing (with Antonio Carlos Jobim playing piano and adding vocals) Jobim's "Inútil Paisagem (Useless Landscape)," Astrud Gilberto's interpretation (with Luiz Bonfá on guitar) of Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnival (Morning of the Carnival)," and American tenor sax player Coleman Hawkins' wink-and-a-grin version of Jayme Silva's "O Pato (The Duck)." Light and mellow enough to work as background music for a romantic evening, but with enough grace and class to actually work successfully with close listening, Rio for Lovers pulls off a nice little balancing act.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett