Luiz Bonfá - Introspection/The New Face Of Bonfa (1970/72)
Handy twofer of most of Bonfa's early 70s output for RCA - the album
between these two, Sanctuary, is harder to come by but I'm keeping a
lookout. The New Face Of Bonfa, from 1970, was an attempt to cross over
to a US audience with some success; the string arrangements are
occasionally laid on a bit too thick, but Bonfa's phenomenal guitar talent is always
front and centre (not least in Africana, my favourite track from this album). In contrast to Braziliana, Maria Toledo only makes
two appearances here as one of the backing vocalists on Macumba and
Peixe Bom; all the other tracks are instrumental.
Original Introspection cover art. CD cover at top uses same pic as New Face LP.
And speaking of Bonfa's phenomenal guitar talent - that's the sole focus of the 1972 album Introspection, presented first on this CD reissue. It's small but perfectly formed - eight tracks in under 27 minutes, and not a second wasted in showcasing Bonfa's sheer melodic and harmonic talent and staggering technique (check out the hovering-UFO evocations of Adventure In Space). The sole concession here to production effects is the phasing on the opener, which kind of works, but other than that, Introspection is an utterly timeless masterpiece.