Paulinho Garcia: Beautiful Love

A number of years ago I went to the old Jazz Showcase in Chicago and heard Brazilian guitarist/vocalist Paulinho Garcia do some duets with a warm tenor sax  player. The simplicity of the sounds won me over, and I’ve enjoyed his material ever since. This is the first one of his discs I’ve heard in awhile, and the two changes from back then are: a) he’s got no horn, he’s all by himself and b) most of the songs are in English and are American Standards. But, what Garcia does with material such as “Like Someone In Love” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” is that he turns them into Brazilian folk moods. The casual back porch approach with his patient caresses of the strings on “But Beautiful” and “Beautiful Love” makes you forget that these were Tin Pan Alley pieces. His English is lovely accentuated but unstrained, almost a Sao Paolo version of Chet Baker, and his Portuguese forays on a few tunes keeps you on your toes. If this is your first exposure to Garcia, get set for a treat!

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