Celso Fonseca

This gifted Brazilian singer/guitarist takes us on a journey back in time as he draws inspiration from the sounds that came from Bahia in the early Seventies (Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, and Novos Baianos) and deftly mixes them with the retro cool of Fifties bossa nova. On his recently released debut album, Rive Gauche Rio (Six Degrees), Fonseca's guitar-playing is in top form. And one cannot help but notice that his voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Veloso's (incidentally Fonseca has collaborated with him -- and several others -- over the years). But don't think of Fonseca simply as an emulator or imitator. He is fully able to showcase his own style, and songs such as the bossa "Por Acaso, Pela Tarde" ("By Chance, in the Afternoon") and the tropical-sounding "Feriado" ("Holiday") are evidence of this.

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Ernest Barteldes

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