I agree with some of the previous reviews - the sparseness of the instrumentation on this album makes the album, rather than detracting from it. IMHO, bossa is a very intimate musical style and the sparseness here maximizes the intimacy that the listener experiences. In fact, when other instruments come into the mix, which only happens occasionally with some flutes and violins, IMHO the record is a little bit the worse for it. In fact, after listening to this, I can well understand why Joao Gilberto was purported to have told Stan Getz to play more softly when they recorded Getz/Gilberto, as his loud playing was going against the idea of bossa nova - softness and sparseness make it more effective. Granted, what Getz did lead to an undeniably great record, but listening to this record will give you a greater appreciation of the bossa style, in my opinion.
Throughout, Nara's voice is spot on, and her renditions of many of the well-known classics on here are both unique and outstanding, including Insensatez, Corcovado, Outra Vez, O Grande Amor, Desafinado and Chega de Suadade. In fact, I would say that the versions of Insensatez and Corcovado on this album are my favorite recordings of these two songs that I've come across so far, and that includes the Getz/Gilberto version of Corcovado. To me, Nara is the female Joao Gilberto - her voice is that good, and as was said of Gilberto, I'd say of Nara that she could sound good singing the telephone book. Bottom line, this CD is 24 tracks of sublime bliss, and its a shame that its not as well known or popular as some others that, as good as they are, often pale next to this.