Rolling Stone - 8/3/00, pp.56-83.5 stars out of 5
- "...A series of whispered meditations on Brazilian popular music that lasts only 30 minutes yet feels like a full meal..."
CMJ - 6/12/00, p.3
"...Proves that the essence of bossa nova is Joao Gilberto."
Down Beat - 11/00, pp.67-84.5 stars out of 5
- "...Sparse arrangements emphasize [his] new found edge while heightening the quiet majesty of his singing. [His] own syncopated guitar lines and complex chords are the ideal force to push his voice in different directions..."
Solo performer: Joao Gilberto (vocals, guitar).
Recorded at Studio AR, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
JOAO VOZ E VIOLAO won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best World Music Album.
A US release of new material by bossa nova master Joao Gilberto is like the appearance of a comet. It doesn't happen often, and when it does you'd be wise to pay close attention. Nearly a decade separates JOAO VOZ E VIOLAO from its predecessor, and thankfully little seems to have changed. Gilberto's voice and guitar possess the same purity that made his early-'60s recordings so unforgettable. Caetano Veloso, one of many Brazilian artists strongly influenced by Gilberto, achieves a production masterstroke here by the simple act of putting the man in the studio with only his own guitar for company.
The result is the most directly affecting Joao Gilberto recording to reach American ears since bossa nova's heyday four decades prior. Unhampered by an intrusive string section or superflous studio players, Gilberto is free to pursue his quiet but forceful vision with undiluted focus. Nodding to his roots, he performs a couple of Jobim tunes, including the famed "Desafinado," and embraces the present by performing a number of Caetano Veloso compositions, even though these are clearly written with the classic bossa nova style in mind. JOAO VOZ E VIOLAO is the stuff of a Gilberto fan's dreams.