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Rive Gauche Rio

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Album Review

At first listen Rive Gauche Rio seems like an extension of Celso Fonseca's prior disc, with its gentle, acoustic bossa nova and sophisticated sounds. But go a little deeper and you'll find a layered animal, with very subtle programming touches burbling under the instruments, as on "Um Mundo Estranho," where there's plenty to delight the ear just below the surface. Above all, there's an excellence in songwriting, whether it's Fonseca's own memorable melodies or his choice in covers, like Jorge Drexler's "Don de Fluir," which floats on hanging chords from a Fender Rhodes, or Damien Rice's "Delicate." Everything's lovingly understated, but still quite detailed, with some lovely arrangements (check the wordless "Atlantico" for example, or the shimmer of "Pousada"). Inevitably, there's a jazzy, languid feel to much of the material, like the lazy sax that swims across "Na Pele de um Flaneur," giving a retro '50s and '60s touch to the song that brings it alive. So while the ambience isn't that different, Fonseca's been tweaking things, experimenting a little, and the result is a disc that's more adventurous, and actually more artistically successful and pleasing than his first.


Born: 15 November 1956 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '00s

Influenced by Baden Powell, successful composer/producer/instrumentalist Celso Fonseca started in music at 12, having learned the guitar. At 19, he decided to dedicate himself to music as a profession, being invited to join Gilberto Gil's band in 1981, with which Fonseca played throughout Brazil and in several other countries. Fonseca also has played and recorded with Chico Buarque, Djavan, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Elza Soares, Marisa Monte, João Bosco, Jorge Benjor, Leila Pinheiro,...
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Rive Gauche Rio, Celso Fonseca
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