Beautiful Love is a collection of Brazilian, Latin American and U.S. standards performed in a very intimate and heartwarming approach. We hear Paulinho's voice and guitar through this fourteen-song collection. Although he relies heavily on the North-American songbook — 12 songs in English, two in Portuguese and a third in Spanish — Paulinho's infusion of Brazilian feelings and rhythm makes the album a joy.
This Belo Horizonte native (born on August 16, 1948) has made Chicago his home since 1979. You might be familiar with his previous solo album reviewed here in MB (My Very Life) or with Portrait in Black and White (released in 2011) or his duo CD with Julie Koidin (Dois no Choro). Whatever the case might be, it is easy to understand why Paulinho received the Brazilian Press Award for Best Brazilian Vocalist in 2013. In his adopted hometown of Chicago he has also collected a variety of awards, including Chicagoan of the Year in Jazz and Brazilian Person of the Year (both in 2010).
Beautiful Love is an affirmation of love, such as in "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar," the opening track. It is the comfort of rediscovering love in "That Old Feeling" or the excitement of falling in love the first time in "When I Fall in Love." Whatever the mood the song brings, Paulinho delivers it with incomparable swing and pizzazz. "Like Someone in Love" is an example. His acoustic guitar chords are bouncy, jovial and a pure expression of someone in love. Love is not always happy, though, and in "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Historia de un Amor" we hear the pain when love is gone. Among all these classics, Paulinho added his own "Do You Remember Me?", a stirring song remembering unforgettable times with a loved one. On a personal note, I must say that Paulinho's rendition of "But Beautiful" captures the essence of this album for me. That is one of my favorite U.S. standards. It was introduced by Bing Crosby in 1947 in the movie Road to Rio.
Paulinho's phrasing and guitar strumming are in perfect alliance in Beautiful Love. His soft vocals and expert guitar accompaniment highlight and praise love with a deserving tribute in this album.
Egidio Leitão, Musica Brasileira