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This enchanting, flavorful CD finds the ever curious Yo-Yo Ma traveling to South America, and Brazil in particular. The music varies from classical to samba to bossa nova; the combinations range from guitar, flute, and cello to female voice (the remarkable Rosa Passos), cello, guitar, percussion, piano, and bass; to simple cello and piano; to cello and two guitars. The overriding element is rhythm; each selection has a beat which is both infectious and sensual, but the contexts are splendidly varied. "Dansa brasileira" has a Debussy-like, impressionistic flavor, "Dansa negra" is sultry with an easy melody, "1 x 0" is a dance scored for guitar, percussion, and cello with a solo clarinet riff. It's impossible to get bored or tired listening to this creative CD; it's unique--just like Yo-Yo Ma himself--and endlessly surprising. It may not be quite what we'd call "classical" music, but it is many kinds of music, and they all will delight. The other musicians are as impressive on their instruments as Ma is with his cello, and that's saying a great deal. --Robert Levine
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It lulls you to sleep, but not quite. Highly recommend!