Personnel: Lisa Ono (vocals); Nelson Faria (guitar); Franklin daFlauta, Paulo Guimaraes (flute); Vittor Santos (trombone); Antonio Adolfo (piano); Wilson DasNeves (drums); Sidinho Moreira (percussion); Muiza Adnet, Mario Adnet (background vocals).
Recording information: Discover Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (03/1996-04/1996); Impressao Digital Studio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (03/1996-04/1996).
Photographer: Nana Moraes.
Arranger: Antonio Adolfo .
This recording is a bit of a change of pace for the Japanese bossa singer, in that here Ono digs deeply into the talent of bossa nova gospel, both old and new, rather than relying on her own very worthy songwriting skills. Some of the songwriters present include Tom Jobim, Eumir Deodato, Baden Powell and Vinícius de Moraes, Claudio Nucci, Caetano Veloso, and others. Produced by Brazilian legend Antonio Adolfo, Ono surrounds herself with a gorgeous host of tunes, including Dorival Caymmi's "Festa de Rua," which opens the album with shimmering acoustic guitars and layers of lilting hand percussion by Sidinho, all of which seem to propel Ono's voice outside the song, as if to observe what is being sung by osmosis. Adolfo's arrangements traditionally bring the instrumentation to par with a singer's voice, and these are no exception. But his work also places the vocalist in a safety zone, a place from which to express the poetic quality in most bossa tunes and certainly in all of the good ones. Here Veloso's "Dom de Iludir" is treated like a rare gem by Adolfo's pianism. Ono's voice slides out from between it and the percussion instruments as a guitar trails after her. The breezy lightness in the cut stands at odds with the heartbreak that comes though in her delivery. Elsewhere, such as on Deodato's "Baiaozinho," Ono's voice becomes a percussive element in and of itself as she delivers the narrative in the body of the song. Adolfo floats her singing into the tempo, as if a counterbalance to the already percussive guitaristry of Nelson Faria. The effect is chilling and arrests the listener as she or he comes to grip with singing not as a solo activity or even a vocal one, but an instrumental one. This is one of Ono's finest moments in a career already marked with distinction. ~ Thom Jurek