Since their eponymoius debut in 2000, the Chicago-based Two for Brazil has been steadily gaining fans and exposure around the world, and for good reason: their organic meld of Brazilian and jazz sensibilities is distinctive, and their approach is intimate, classy and full of light. The duo of guitarist/vocalist Paulinho Garcia and tenor/flute player Greg Fishman evokes the historic pairing of Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz - especially on "O Grande Amor", one of their earliest bossa nova hits - but Fishman's playing is less brawny and breathy, and Garcia offers a greater variety of rhythm and emotion. This CD features stellar, swinging versions of two jazz classics "A Night in Tunisia" and "Take Five", with Fishman weaving strong, eloquent lines around Garcia's expressive vocals and lyrical guitar. The 12 Brazilian gems range from the classic (Jobim, Baden-Powell, and Bonfa), to the contemporary (Djavan, Toninho Horta, and Gilberto Gil), all rendered beautifully and straight from the heart. Standouts include the sensuous "Deixa" (Let Me), "Anos Dourado" (Golden Years), Fishman's airy flute solo on "Que Maravilha", and the exquisite "Pra Dizer Adeus" (To Say Goodbye), which is interpreted with less despair than usual, given Fishman's warm elegance and the infinite tenderness of Garcia's voice. This duo seems to breathe together. A well-paced mixture of buoyancy, thoughtfulness and tropical romance, Take Five is a perfect antidote to a noisy, worrisome world and a must-have for fans of Brazilian jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Judith Schlesinger