Sometimes a recording is more than just beautiful music. There are albums in my collection who (which) I seriously consider my friends. These are the ones I hung out with every day for countless months or years, and, when I listen to them again, they remind be of a certain emotion of those days. These are the albums that last a lifetime. "Composer of Black Orpheus plays and sings Bossa Nova" is one of these albums, and one of my best friends.
Luiz Bonfa is a fantastic musician - a fact revealed in this album. As the title suggests, Luiz Bonfa both plays and sings for this recording - a rare treat for any Bossa Nova fan. But this is not for a select few; everybody who hears this album likes this album. It's simply beautiful music that you can listen to any time. On a sunny day, Bonfa's unrivaled guitaring (complimented by funky Brasilian percussion, Jobim-esque piano, the pure tones of Maria Toledo, and occasional, unobtrusive strings) will convince you that you've arrived in 60s Rio. During winter, Bonfa's warm, unpretentious singing is the perfect pick-me-up.
These days it seems to be so hard to find classically trained guitarists sensitive to melody and timbre; and it is equally as hard to find jazz musicians who aren't tempted to play every note in the scale available to them (and sometimes those notes that aren't available). But, while he crosses over both realms, Luiz Bonfa is neither classical guitarist, nor jazz player. In "Composer..." there are some of the most wonderful melodies ever created, the themes expounded beautifully without ever being repetitious. In all of Bonfa's albums, it seems there is a different version of his most famous composition "Manha De Carnaval". This album contains one of the best, displaying Bonfa's incredible gifts in reworking a theme until it becomes perfection. The sixth track, "Silencio Do Amor" is one of the greates songs in existence; so finely balanced between the early verses, in which we hear Bonfa's gentle singing, and the later verses when only his guitar is heard.
Really, all tracks on "Composer..." are beyond easy description. Only the greatest poets could express what one feels when listening to this music. There is something magical in Luiz Bonfa, something that translates only to the heart and that tingly area which is what, I suppose, they call a "soul".