Bossacucanova/Roberto Menescal


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For '90s artists ranging from Japanese loungesters Pizzicato 5 to techno producer Ian Pooley, the fluid, effortless music of Brazil has acted as both an influence and a spur for their own music-making. The Bossacucanova trio not only retranslates its native Brazilian music back into a contemporary setting with programming and mixing, but adds bossa nova pioneer Roberto Menescal to the lineup in order to hark back to the glory days. (No coincidence, then, that his son Marcio is in the band.) The opener cruises along with a crisp woodwind section that smacks of '50s space age pop, some brisk percussion/programming along the lines of drum'n'bass, and Menescal Sr.'s nimble guitar work and vocals over the top. Some of the covers, however, don't turn out quite as well; Bossacucanova can't quite conjure the emotion necessary for standards like "Agua de Beber" or "Garota de Ipanema" ("The Girl From Ipanema"), though the versions are curios of a sort. ~ John Bush, Rovi