Morelenbaum /Sakamoto – Casa

Morelenbaum 2/Sakamoto
(Sony – 2002)
by Ricky Miller

This heartfelt tribute to the timeless compositions of bossa-nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim features Grammy winner Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano, Brazilian cellist-arranger Jacques Morelenbaum and wife Paula Morelenbaum on vocals. In an attempt to capture the spirit of the composer, this stylish release was actually recorded in Antonio Carlos Jobim’s own home overlooking Rio de Janeiro. To make it even more true to the music, Sakamoto plays Jobim’s own piano on every track.

Exploring some rarified air in the Jobim catalogue, this CD includes the never before recorded Tema para Ana, a love song Jobim wrote for his wife Ana, and the rarely heard Chanson pour Michelle (dedicated to Michel Legrand) which was written for the soundtrack of a TV soap opera and has heretofore been available only on a rare vinyl LP. Paulo Jobim (Jobim’s son) suggested Chanson pour Michelle to the trio as well as a new version of the standard Esperança Perdida that features a different introduction.

Sakamoto’s affinity for both Jobim and French impressionism picks up echoes of Satie in Imagina, Ravel in Estrada Branca and, reaching further back, Chopin in Sabiá. Bonita inspires a true bossa nova arrangement, with a guest appearance by Paulo Jobim and the atmospheric touch of Sakamoto’s own DAT recording of ocean waves and beach sounds. There are also appearances by percussionist Marcos Suzano, guitarist Luiz Brasil, vocalist Ed Motta, and bassist Zeca Assumpçao on this moving CD.