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Moreno Veloso plus 2: Music Typewriter

With a smooth croon, light-touch acoustic guitar and reverence for the sounds of his heritage, Brasilian singer/composer Moreno Veloso tells moving tales that translate across language lines and cut straight to the heart. Music Typewriter (Hannibal HNCD 1456; 49:38) finds Veloso “+2” (bassist Alexandre Kassin and percussionist Domenico Lancelloti) taking cues from genre masters (including Moreno’s dad, Caetano Veloso, who has a cameo here), while delicately incorporating modern touches for an original, deeply affecting sound. From the carefully crafted Brasilbeat folk of “Deusa do Amor” to the meditative “Sertao,” the trio builds hauntingly understated moods. But the scope of the album only broadens from there, with the jangling, brassy “Arrivederci” boasting an almost funky swing, while “Para Xo” gleans a unique charm from Joao Donato’s retro-piano work. Veloso plays with rhythm and timing to great effect on “Enquanto Isso,” a halting, percussive piece sung in a modern ironic, world-weary tone, and smartly double-tracks vocals on the springy, stomping dance “Livro & O Beijo.” Other highlights include the blithely jazzy, dizzying romance of “Eu Sou Melhor Que Voce,” and, in a particularly striking turn, a haunting rendition of “I’m Wishing,” (from Disney’s Snow White), smartly juxtaposing English and Portuguese lyrics, and underscoring the universality of the trio’s musical message.

Originally Published