Putumayo Presents – Bossa Nova Around The World

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For more than half a century, bossa nova’s appeal has been international. The bossa nova explosion of the late ’50s and early ’60s had both Brazilian participation (Antonio Carlos Jobim, João & Astrud Gilberto, Luiz Bonfá) and American participation (Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd), and before that, there was an international element when Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida and American alto saxophonist Bud Shank joined forces for their landmark Brazilliance collaborations of 1953 (which combined cool jazz with samba and helped pave the way for bossa nova). So it makes perfect sense for Putumayo to assemble a compilation that underscores bossa nova’s international popularity. In fact, only a few of the artists on this early 2011 release have actually lived in Brazil. The artists on Putumayo Presents: Bossa Nova Around the World come from places ranging from South Korea (Monla) to Serbia (trumpeter Dusko Goykovich) to Norway (Hilde Hefte). Over the years, the dominant languages of bossa nova (which can be either vocal or instrumental) have been Portuguese and English. But on this vocalist-dominated (though not vocalist-exclusive) CD, the languages also include German (2raumwohnung on “Melancholisch Schön”), Spanish (Amanda Martinez on the haunting “Hasta Que Pueda”), Norwegian (Hilde Hefte on an unlikely recording of Jobim’s “Corcovado”) and Korean (Monla on “Railroad”). And some of the artists perform in French, including Kad Achouri on “Mon Père à Moi,” Didier Sustrac on “Tout Seul,” and the Paris-based male/female duo Tom & Joy on an arrangement of Jobim’s “Meditation” (which also includes lyrics in English). French-language participation in bossa nova didn’t start in the 21st century; the possibilities of bringing together bossa nova and chanson were explored as far back as 1966, when the soundtrack for French director Claude Lelouch’s film Un Homme et une Femme came out. But it’s still nice to hear the sexiness of bossa nova and the sexiness of the French language being united as often as they are on this 40-minute disc. Someone who wanted to nitpick might wonder why no Italian-language bossa nova is offered (bossa nova influenced Italian pop with splendid results when Mina and Alberto Lupo, for example, teamed up for their early-’70s classic “Parole, Parole”). Had the disc lasted 70 or 75 minutes instead of 40, it could have been even more far-reaching. Nonetheless, Bossa Nova Around the World is full of pleasant surprises, and once again, Putumayo has assembled a compilation that is both ambitious and consistently rewarding. (AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson, http://bit.ly/2CglYtd).

Track listing:

1. Jardim [Jardim D’Hiver] (Bia – Brazil/France/Canada)
2. Esperanca de Mar Azul (Nancy Vieira with Tito Paris – Cape Verde/Portugal)
3. Tout Seul (Didler Sustrac – France)
4. Malancholisch Schon (2raumwohnung – Germany)
5. Vida de Estrela (Pierre Aderne – Brazil/France)
6. Hasta Que Pueda (Amanda Martinez – Canada/Mexico)
7. Meditation (Tom & Joy – France)
8. Menina Moca (Dusko Goykovich – Serbia)
9. Vakker Natt [Corcovado] (Hilde Hefte – Norway)
10. So Nice (Stacey Kent & Jim Tomlinson – USA)
11. Railroad (Monla – South Korea)
12. Mon Pere a Moi (Kad Achouri – France)


Label: Putumayo World Music ‎– PUT 306-2
Format: CD, Compilation, Digipak
Released: January 11, 2011
Duration: 40:19