The Ipanemas – Que Beleza review

The idea of a new album by Brazilian bossa gods The Ipanemas might at one time have sounded crazy, given that their eponymous debut from 1962 didn’t see a follow up until 2001. Thankfully that record, The Return of The Ipanemas found them a new wave of fans and sparked a sparked new wave of productivity. Far Out’s Joe Davis has coaxed yet another fine album from this multi-generational institution, which has survived the deaths of founding members to come back stronger than ever.

Opener “Que Beleza De Nega” features some sublime trombone from Vitor Santos and soft lilting vocals from founder member Wilson Das Neves. He also takes the lead on the droll and fabulously mellow “Eua A” – a song that will instantly warm the coldest heart the moment a room full of male voices begin to join in on the chorus.

Backing vocals are brought to the fore on the time-signature shifting “Nega E Kota”, while elsewhere instrumentals like “Espelho D’gua” and “Olhando Tres” give more room for Santos’ trombone lines to shine. The album builds to a brilliant closing salvo – “Eparrei” –  which has the confidence to let heaps of percussion take the lead and allow veteran singer Andrea Martins space to stretch out her vocals unhinged. It’s a thrilling finale to yet another welcome return from the Ipanemas.

Review: Oliver Keens