This quartet consists of cellist-arranger Jacques Morelenbaum, who played with Antonio Carlos Jobim on one of his last recordings, Passarim
, before Jobim's death in 1994; his wife, vocalist Paula; Jobim's son, pianist Daniel; and his grandson Paulo on guitar. On this CD not only do they extend Jobim's legacy into the 21st century, but in this chamber format they highlight the softer side of Jobim's bossa nova blend of the Afro-Brazilian samba, jazz, and the French impressionist harmonies of Ravel and Debussy. Augmented by bass, drums, and percussion, the quartet delivers engaging and ethereal renditions of classic Jobim mid-'60s bossa nova standards including "Agua de Beber," "Ela e' Carioca," "Meditacão," and "Desafinado," sung by Paulo. The haunting "A Felicidade" and "Lamento no Morro" from Jobim's Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Black Orpheus
are updated with taste and verve, especially in the balance between voice and instrumentation. Paulo Jobim's "Mantiqueira Range" is a direct descendant of his grandfather's harmonic genius, and it may prove to be an example of pleasant things to come from this stunning group. --Eugene Holley Jr.