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July/August 2006

Yashmin Charnet-Abler
Jobim, etc.
Bossa Nova

New York City is home to this Rio-born vocalist, who professes a great love for Brazilian music along with her eclectic group of accompanying musicians on this tribute to Jobim, among other songwriters. The stark recording is markedly flat and comes across rather dim despite some nice musical moments, rather like an unfinished mix, with the piano becoming increasingly out of tune and washed out in too much reverb.

Charnet’s vocal is charming enough although loungey and slightly mumbling in places, singing in English, Portuguese and Spanish; nothing in her performance really grabs your attention, and her intonation is iffy in places. The best performance is “Por Causa de Você,” which features the singer accompanied by pianist David Kikoski and guitarist Enrique López in a lovely version of this Jobim ballad, although the balance between the two instruments is a bit off, with the rhythm guitar louder than the piano solo.

The other musicians on the date include reedman and harmonica player Ross Schneider and percussionist Caco de Oliveira. Overall, this offering seems destined to join the ranks of wedding singer calling cards, with an uneven vocal performance that does not stand up to the challenge of the selected composers’ timeless melodies.

Originally published in July/August 2006
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