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Milton Nascimento: Miltons

Album Reviews:

Down Beat - 4 Stars - Very Good

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Milton Nascimento (vocals, acoustic guitar); Herbie Hancock (piano, keyboards); Nana Vasconcelos (percussion, berimbau).

Here Nascimento strips his normally expansive resources way down and basically uses just his own voice and guitar, Herbie Hancock's acoustic piano and synthesized bass, and Naná Vasconcelos' percussion, with occasional self-overdubs and choral interjections. For strict jazz fans, then, this release has an unusually high quota of interest; Hancock -- who is in inspired, affectionate form throughout -- gets lots of solo space, and we hear more of Nascimento's own driving, idiosyncratic guitar than usual. The songs, in collaboration with Nascimento's perennial lyricist Fernando Brant and others, overflow with Nascimento's unquenchable life force, having never abandoned the peace-and-love core of the '60s. For openers, Nascimento delivers a touching note to actor River Phoenix well before the latter's tragically early death. There is also an hypnotic, revolving, vocalese version of "La Bamba," and he revisits earlier tunes like "San Vicente" and "Sock Ball, Marbles." This is unusually intimate Nascimento, but no less full and rich in impact. ~ Richard S. Ginell


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