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Milton Nascimento: Crooner

If Milton Nascimento wants to don a tux, literally and musically, and practice the art of crooning, who can complain? The Brazilian musician possesses one of the sweetest voices in the world, with a wide range of pitch and a wider range of expressive nuance. If anyone can find new musical meaning in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” he’s the one (OK, bad example: He, in fact, can’t find musical meaning in that one). Nascimento looks back fondly on the songs that have struck his fancy, dating back to the ’60s era when he went by the pseudonym of Bituca and purveyed songs for a living in Belo Horizonte, before he won fame as singer-songwriter-musical-persona Milton Nascimento. The song set opens with the supple “Aguelos Olhos Verdes” and closes with a seductively rhythmic take on Jobim’s “Lamento no Morro,” replete with lush strings and male background vocalists tucked handsomely in the corners of the arrangement. Along the way, we hear tasty numbers like “Frenesi,” “Lagrima Flor,” an oddly suave take on the soul tune “Ooh Child” and one original, “Brulho de Trem,” typically infectious and ambitious in its craft and its emotionality. The production is suitably lavish, with orchestral help from the London Symphony and a healthy roster of fine Brazilian musicians. But however polished and smart the package is, the artful crooner is up front and personal, as he should be.

Originally Published