One of last year's most civilized pleasures was the album Casa by the trio Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto—Brazilian cellist Jacques Morelenbaum; his wife, vocalist Paula; and globe-trotting, genre-bendi

One of last year's most civilized pleasures was the album Casa by the trio Morelenbaum2/Sakamoto—Brazilian cellist Jacques Morelenbaum; his wife, vocalist Paula; and globe-trotting, genre-bending pianist/composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Recorded above Rio de Janeiro in the house of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the intimate, inviting Casa investigated the hidden corners of the late bossa nova master's songbook. The trio's world tour also featured the more famous Jobim tunes, and the group convened in New York to capture these live in the studio. Even deprived of the Rio air, the music brims with lilting, lyrical charm on such international standards as "Desafinado" and "Insensatez." Artists the world over have made these songs ubiquitous, but in the hands of M2/S, they sound freshly minted. A bonus is a Portuguese version of Sakamoto's beautiful Jobim homage, "Tango."—BB