Dori Caymmi: Poesia Musicada

Dori Caymmi has always had a lot to live up to. His father, the legendary Dorival Caymmi, helped put Brazilian music on the map in the 20th century. As a singer and composer, Dorival’s odes to the lifestyle, women and beaches of his native Bahia were the touchstones for samba, Afro-Brazilian pop and, of course, bossa nova.

Poesia Musicada is a son’s love letter to his dad. Written by Dori with his longtime lyric partner Paulo César Pinheiro, these 13 songs all sound as if their melodies were born out of seashores, sunsets and saudade-that hard-to-translate Portuguese word that captures an aching, nostalgic yearning.

Caymmi’s softly plucked nylon-string guitar and deep melancholy voice are up front in the mix, with occasional flutes, cellos and percussion providing sparse, tasteful commentary. The quiet simplicity of the arrangements and the ribbon-like structures of standout tracks such as “Marinheiragem,” “Rede” and “Velho do Mar” make for a beautifully sustained mood throughout.

The album title translates as Poetry and Music, of which this collection is full. For Dori Caymmi, it’s a simple matter of “like father, like son.”