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Editors’ Notes

Chico Buarque is a major cultural figure in his native Brazil: in addition to being an important singer/songwriter, he’s an accomplished novelist, poet, and playwright. In the United States he’s less well known than many other Brazilian musicians despite the fact he has released dozens of recordings since his debut in the mid-‘60’s. Buarque’s roots are in bossa nova but he’s most associated with MPB (Música Popular Brasileira). 2011’s Chico is his first album in five years and it’s excellent. It opens with “Querido Diário,” which finds Buarque in fine form surrounded by a superb arrangement. “Rubato” features splashes of piano, effective horn interjections, and a groove driven by nice brushwork on drums. “Tipo Um Baião” starts off spare and mellow, but eventually female backup singers and gnarly psych guitar come into play. On “Sem Você No. 2,” Buarque’s lovely vocals are accompanied by acoustic guitar, string bass, and piano; it’s a delight to hear him in this setting. The album is graced by three duets with guest vocalists: “Se Eu Soubesse” (Thaís Gulin), “Sou Eu” (Wilson das Neves), and “Sinhá” (João Bosco).

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Biography

Born: 1944 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Genre: MPB

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Of the early stars of MPB (música popular brasileira), Chico Buarque was one of the first to become a certifiable pop star. With his warm, nasally croon, elegant phrasing, and considerable skill at lyric writing, Buarque (who is handsome to boot) became extremely popular with women, who loved his understated sensuality. However, Buarque was uncomfortable playing the role of pop star, preferring to be seen as a serious artist. Throughout his career, he's managed to have the best of both worlds, but...
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Chico, Chico Buarque
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