True friendship is a rare commodity and one that seems even more elusive in the music industry. However, if ever there was an exception to this, at least in the world of bossa nova, it would be the personal and musical relationship between Vinicius De Moraes and Toquinho.
The 1971 release simply entitled, “Toquinho e Vinicius” was not the first collaborative album featuring the pairing (that honour belongs to, “En La Fusa con Maria Creuza y Toquinho”) but it was the first to feature the duo exclusively. As such it marks a significant point in the development of a musical partnership that would go on to spawn hundreds of songs and more than 20 albums.
The vocal responsibilities are split evenly between the two, with neither singer performing more than the other. From a purely technical standpoint, their vocal harmonizing though not bad is not outstanding either. What does stand out though, is the underlying feeling of warmth that emanates throughout the album. From start to finish, the two always seem genuinely engaged and one gets the impression that they are enjoying the experience of performing with one another. The warmth is not limited to the vocal section either as most songs are composed in a bright, one could say sunny style – with melodies that are equally amorous.
The subject matter is decidedly light and carefree. The pair tends to focus on the matters one would expect a pair of male friends to talk about and chief amongst these is women. Essa Menina, the first track, really captures the feel and sound of the album very well. Vinicius and Toquinho deliver a notable vocal performance over an arrangement which includes a riveting flute melody and a sweet and simple brass section which really adds a layer of polish to a track already glistening with playful charm.
Close friendship can either be a liability or an asset when crafting a record. Fortunately the latter is most evident in Toqunho e Vinicius.
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1 – Essa Menina
2 – Maria Vai Com As Outras
3 – Testamento
4 – O Poeta Aprendiz
5 – Eu não tenho nada a ver com isso
6 – A Terra Prometida
7 -Sei Lá, A Vida Tem Sempre Razão
8 – O Velho e a Flor
9 – O Canto de Oxum
10 – A Rosa Desfolhada
11 – Morena Flor
12 – A Flor da Noite
13 – Blues para Emmett