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Various Nicola Conte Presents Viagem

It’s hard to overstate the importance of music to Brazilian life and culture, including plenty of indigenous genres that haven’t traveled to the larger world much (axé, forró, etc). But bossa nova did make it outside–so much so that songs like “The Girl from Ipanema” are now considered Western standards. This comp, though, features lesser-known cuts (i.e., mostly stuff not by pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim) that show off bossa’s close kinship to American jazz. Sax legend Sonny Rollins, for example, wrote the uptempo “Samba em Blue,” here performed by Sansa Trio, and Tenório Jr.’s piano work on “Nebulosa” has echoes of Oscar Peterson. Mellow, sweet, and swinging, this is bossa like a feather in the air.

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