It's been a while since I critiqued a Putumayo release, but the label has managed to maintain unerringly the exquisite taste for which it has become famous. I suppose a good measure of that can be had in the fact that I strolled through the Borders bookshop in Torrance the other day—not something I usually do, as this chain stores' choices usually bore me half to death—and found myself a bit astonished at the profusion of Putumayo CDs the place carried, all in their own distinct section. That row of CDs was like a light in darkness among radio clatter.
Thank God, too, that the label has kept away from jewel case madness and retained the populist way-cool cartoon format for liner artwork in paper digipaks with generous booklets, as that move retains a distinctive branding that even a class-analyzing politics buff like myself cannot kick at. Everything about this line is friendly, inviting, and oh so fresh. No less the music, as each and every CD underwrites a ne plus ultra estate of consummate attention to craft and artfulness. As usual, a global perspective is adopted, and thus we have latinate sounds from Norway, Serbia, South Korea...and even Brazil!
Sumptuous, gorgeous, and swingin', Bossa Nova revives the pure form away from recent acid jazz estates, returning the listener to the hedonistically languid early days of summer breezes, pina coladas, warm waters, appollonian bipeds, and lush tropical climes. The Gilbertos, Bonfa, Pascoal, those early CTI releases, and myriad exemplars return sinuously to life in the persons of Bia, 2raumwohnung, Tom & Joy, and others. One also recalls Sergio Mendes, Basia, and the mid-term practitioners while looking around for a nice beach and toasty sands to dig one's toes into. Few releases could be better for de-stressing while energizing, and Dusko Goyavich's Menina Moca instrumentally provides smooth sailing with a dancing beat for exactly that. Every track in fact shines in satiny luster, and I doubt anyone will be happy with just one spin of the CD, hitting the 'Repeat' button on the player in order to trip the lights exotic while settling in for the night.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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