Composer/pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto takes a musical holiday from his recent classically oriented projects with a new trio featuring the Brazilian husband-and-wife pair of singer Paula Morelenbaum and ce

Composer/pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto takes a musical holiday from his recent classically oriented projects with a new trio featuring the Brazilian husband-and-wife pair of singer Paula Morelenbaum and cellist Jacques Morelenbaum. The three are fully familiar: The cellist collaborated notably with Sakamoto on his masterful chamber music album 1996, and both appeared on his elecro-pop disc Smoochy. With Casa, they have done the world a favor by recording an album of rarely heard songs by bossa nova master Antonio Carlos Jobim; the "open window" sessions took place in the late songwriter's home overlooking Rio de Janeiro, with Sakamoto playing Jobim's piano. The result is intimately atmospheric and utterly idiomatic; the Morelenbaums worked with Jobim in his last decade, and Sakamoto's great affinity with the French Impressionist composers gives him a real feel for bossa nova's pastel harmonies and lilting rhythms.—BB