index page for Delicado Album Details
The Essential Joyce  - Joyce (Compilation) - 1970-1996
Label: Mr Bongo MRBCD009 (UK)
Format: CD
From: Brazil
My rating: 7/10

Entered: 09/18/2002
Last updated: 09/18/2002

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This compilation is a chronological overview of Joyce's career, with the first 4 tracks from 1970, continuing through the 70s and 80s, with the final track being from 1996. The early tracks are from a variety of famous composers, including Milton Nascimento, Chico Buarque and Caetano Veloso, but as time goes on, the material is all composed by Joyce herself. Her style is influenced by jazz and folk, while still sounding very much in the lineage of classic bossa nova.

The 1970 tracks are really a revelation. The compilation starts with an exuberant version of 'Caqui'; the guitar playing makes it sound like banjo! The effect of this and Joyce's charming vocal is reminiscent of Jorge Ben's 60s work. 'Nada Será Como Antes', a meditative vocal, starts simply enough, but when it gets going, many strange sound effects and percussion sounds give it an eerie feel. 'Adeus Maria Fulô' begins with an echo effect on the vocal and a doomy organ. Soon, a guitar comes in, and while the chords remain unusual and slightly dissonant, the mood gradually gets lighter, before the scary organ comes back again. 'The man from the avenue' begins with some moody strings, and has a desolate, lonely vocal. It actually sounds ahead of its time, and the mood reminds me of some of Everything but the Girl's early 80s material.

The next really hot period for Joyce seems to have been 1980, when she came out with the sublime 'aldeia de ogum', which is built around a repetitive guitar and scat vocal riff. Equally enchanting is the catchy 'Femina', with great guitar and vocal performances. Also worthy of mention is 'Fã Da Bahia', which features a reprise of the tune to 'Baia', and the same pleasant blend of vocals and guitar that makes Joyces's work so pleasant. At the end of 'Clareana', Joyce shows that she is partial to the same compulsion previously exhibited by Astrud Gilberto and Claudine Longet: having children sing on her records. It's just for a while at the end, though, and doesn't spoil the song.

Some of the mid 70s material is a bit 'samey', and fails to really set my world alert, and the one track here from the 90s, 'Rodando A Baiana' is not really to my taste, but overall, this is a great compilation to have.

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