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Thursday, June 26, 2003

Review - A Day in New York

Artist: Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto

Posted on Thu, Jun 26, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Despite the unmistakable genius of Antonio Carlos Jobim, it's unfortunate that Stan Getz got to him first. As a player unashamedly aligned with the cool school of '50s jazz, Getz transmogrified bossa nova into sultry cocktail jazz and that's where it's been stuck ever since. "Tropicalia" momentarily revolutionized the sound of Brazil, but ultimately, if you're a gringo drinking a caipirinha, you're probably listening to "Desafinado" and thinking of making sweet love. Very few performers bother to reach in and pull the melancholic guts out of a track like "Chora Cora�ao" or "Fotografia," preferring instead to coast along the shiny, mellow surface, snapping their fingers all the way (to wit: Sinatra's collaboration with Jobim). This CD was recorded live-in-the-studio after Ryuichi Sakmoto -- along with the bass/vocals duo of Jacques and Paula Morelenbaum and Luiz Brazil and Marcelo Costa -- finished up a tour promoting their "Casa" collaboration (recorded in Jobim's house � on his piano). It certainly exudes more light than "Casa," but even Sakamoto's post-classical progressivism can't get past the decades of pop-culture plaque that's built up on Jobim's legacy. As such, "A Day in New York" is a more visceral version of "Casa" and (yawn) a perfectly enjoyable listen.

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