Coisa Mais Linda (A Most Beautiful Thing)

from Brazilian Days by Paul Winter and Oscar Castro-Neves

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    Paul Winter's liquid soprano sax, OscarCastro-Neves' rich chord voicings, and solid but supple backing from bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Paulo Bragat team up on some of the most beautiful songs by bossa nova’s greatest composers, including Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Noel Rosa, Vinicius de Moraes, Edu Lobo and Luiz Eca.

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Jobim wrote in the foreword for a Carlos Lyra
songbook: “Carlos Lyra, or, to be more exact,
Carlos Eduardo Lyra Barbosa, elegant even in the
name. Great melodist, draftsman, harmonist, the
king of rhythm, of the design, the jiggle, the
‘ginga,’ the see-saw, the prance of the dance of the
lyra. Lyrist and lyricist, a romantic emanating
endearment, never weepy, syrupy, saccharin, silly.
Formidable composer. Lyrus, son of Aphrodite,
Goddess of Love and of Beauty from Greek
mythology. His sambas and songs will live on
because of their quality, delicacy, simplicity and
depth, as long as there is music.”

Vinicius de Moraes is the famous poet, diplomat
and lyricist, Jobim’s long-time friend and collaborator.
Among his many songs are “The Girl
from Ipanema,” “Chega de Saudade” and “A
Felicidade.” He also wrote the play and the lyrics
to Black Orpheus (with music by Jobim), later a
famous film directed by Marcel Camus, released
in 1959. (I had the privilege of doing the arrangements
for Vinicius’ first recording as a singer.)
Vinicius was for a time the Brazilian Consul in
Los Angeles, and among his famous poems is one
entitled “A Tragedy of Passion: Hollywood.”

…You are more beautiful than the flower. Spring
herself wishes she had all this fragrance of beauty that
is love, to fill nature with perfume in the shape of a
woman. Because not even a flower or a color exists as
lovely as that. And love, not even love exists…I
don’t know which is more beautiful—you, or the
love I have for you.

© Carlos Lyra/BMG


from Brazilian Days, released January 1, 1998
Written by: Carlos Lyra & Vinicius de Moraes (Carlos Lyra, BMG)

Paul Winter, soprano sax;
Oscar Castro-Neves, guitar;
Nilson Matta, bass;
Paulo Braga, drums


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Paul Winter Litchfield

Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy-winning saxophonist, whose sextet was the first jazz group to perform at the White House in 1962. His second group, the Paul Winter Consort, interweaves sounds from the natural world with classical and ethnic traditions, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz. Their annual Winter Solstice Celebrations and Earth Mass are among the most popular events in New York. ... more

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