Raf Vilar — Studies In Bossa

Raf Vilar’s Studies In Bossa opener is a Samba opus that immediately transports the listener to a Brazilian sambódromo, sunny lead cavaquinho presses the song’s chest and guarantees jittery feet. The beautiful “Bossa Me” follows, slowing the pace drastically with only a Rhodes piano accompanying Vilar’s frail, emotional voice.

Another song with the same blueprint is “Imaginar Você”, a typical Brazilian guitar strum-along. When stripped down in this type of affair, the student of Bossa is somewhat reminiscent of a young Caetano Veloso. Vilar is a fish in the sea on “Le com Cre”, a classic Bossa cut. He shines considerably less on ballads, such as “Solto no Ar” and “Eu Sei” which leaves me wondering why he opted for so many ballads instead of the Bossa Nova cuts he carries so masterfully. Regardless, Vilar leaves plenty of space for promise and while he hasn’t mastered all styles of the Brazilian musical rainbow, he’s certainly mapped out most of the colours.

by Hugo Salvaterra

Studies in Bossa is released by Far Out Recordings.

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