Highly sought on vinyl by bossa nova fans, this debut album from this short-lived sextet (not to be confused with Sergio Mendes' Bossa Rio Sextet) seems to suggest a theory: the more handshakes away from Herb Alpert, the better and more authentic the music.
Bossa Rio was discovered and produced by Mendes, who in turn was brought into the A&M fold by Alpert. Despite three Brasil '66-ish sounding covers of American hits ("Day by Day," "Up, Up, and Away," and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose"), Bossa Rio stick to tunes from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jorge Ben, Caetano Veloso, and Milton Nascimento, keeping with their roots (as Mendes and Brasil '66 progressed, the American chart covers took over their albums). Lead vocalist Gracinha Laporace has a clear, gentle tone, perfect for their mellow versions of "Wave" and "Cancao do Sal (Sultry Song)." Organist Manfredo Fest puts the devil in the details, giving a giddy feel to "Nana" and "Today, Tomorrow," coaxing similar sounds out of his Hammond as, strangely enough, Soft Machine's Mike Ratledge. A wonderful album for fans of commercial bossa nova, now available on Japanese import CD only.
|Saiupa (Por Causa de Voce Menina) / Jorge Ben||Bossa Rio||2:11|
|Do You Know the Way to San Jose? / Burt Bacharach / Hal David||Bossa Rio||2:46|
|Wave / Antônio Carlos Jobim||Bossa Rio||3:11|
|Day by Day / Sammy Cahn / Axel Stordahl / Paul Weston||Bossa Rio||2:39|
|Today, Tomorrow (Boa Palavra) / Norman Gimbel / Caetano Veloso||Bossa Rio||2:50|
|Up, Up and Away / Jimmy Webb||Bossa Rio||3:12|
|Nana / Moacir Santos / Mario Telles||Bossa Rio||2:03|
|Old Devil Moon / E.Y. "Yip" Harburg / Burton Lane||Bossa Rio||3:17|
|Veleiro (Sailboat) / Edú Lobo / Torquato Neto||Bossa Rio||3:13|
|Gentle Rain / Luiz Bonfá||Bossa Rio||3:57|
|Cancao Do Sal (Sultry Song) / Milton Nascimento||Bossa Rio||2:35|