Whaaaat?!?! Samba-Bossa Brazilia by way of a classically-trained Hungarian vocalist with Italian roots in a new-wave jazz quintet? Yew bet yer boots, Bertram, and you'll be hootin' 'n rootin' for the sunny beaches south of the border the moment this highly talented fivesome cuts the very first measures in the title song opening the disc. There are a number of sessioneers throughout Vocé as well as the base unit, but the quartet backing Pátkai is of the highest caliber, soaked in not only the timbre and nuances of the increasingly popular form but also very subtly informed by Balkan music, most clearly heard in Balazs Pecze's trumpet and flugelhorn. Thus, I'm not all that sure the sit-ins were required, but they sure sound good anyway.
Nor is guitarist Matyas Toth a slouch. That cat swings and then some! But it's Pátkai's singing, her depth of nuance, that striking familiarity with sonic cultural cues contained in lilting melodious refrains that blindside the listener and lay him out for the count, smiling and groovin'. Had you told me this was a rescued recording masterminded by Jobim way back when, I wouldn't have doubted you for a second. It's authentic to a 'T'. And had Vocé appeared on the immaculate Zoho label, I woulda said "Yep! 100%!" 'cause it's that perfect. Catch the version here of Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema), done 1,000 times before and never old, but this is a particularly satiny rendering.
Then get hip to Smile, the energetic take on another standard that few understand was co-written by Charlie Chaplin. Yep, that Charlie Chaplin (is there another??). It's also the only song encanted in English. Once again, as I've noted with other exceptional Braziliana releases, if you long for the cool groovin' of the old Sergio Mendes group that ignited Brazilian melodics into the popular ear beyond the West Coast Cool movement, then Vocé e Eu is what you need in your collection. Especially in an era where everything's melting down, such an oasis is balm to ears, heart, and soul.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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