When the Brazilian film Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) burst onto the screens of the United States it left the American viewer dazzled by the artistry of its presentation, impressed by the natural beauty of Brazil and its people, and wholly captivated by the relentlessly rhythmic music of Rio. Without knowing it, viewers of the Black Orpheus were seated at a preview of the musical style that, several years later, was to capture the United States, then Europe, then the entire Western World. The music of Black Orpheus was, plain and simple, early Bossa Nova. Its composers, Luiz Bonfa and Antonio Carlos Jobim, along with the singer, Joâo Gilberto, were the creators of Bossa Nova, and became the most popular musicians from Brazil when the Bossa Nova wave inundated American popular music. Fully as important as the brilliant screen images, is the picture music. Some of it is purely rhythmic, almost as if melodies were not needed. But the rest of the score is warm with lovely melodies. Perhaps the most famous and lasting of the songs from the score is Bonfa's beautiful Manha de Carvaval. On this Original Soundtrack, the melody is sung by Orpheus on side one and by Eurydice on side two.

Pressed and released by Fontana Records

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