It's difficult to imagine that a single CD could contain a proper introduction to an artist as mercurial as Milton Nascimento
. The years he spent with the EMI-Odeon label were his first forays as a solo artist. While it's true his debut album, Courage
, preceded these years, his definition as an artist began with EMI-Odeon. Between these years he recorded nine albums -- some of which were issued in the United States on A&M -- including the masterpieces Clube da Esquina
and Clube da Esquina 2
, Milagre Dos Peixes
, and Minas
, which has been reissued by Water in the 21st century. The sequencing of this set, Essential Collection: The Best of the EMI Odeon Years (1969-78), on the Nascente label, takes an interesting approach. Things are codified and placed in aesthetic rather than chronological order, essentially creating a new album from the compilation of songs. The hits are here -- "Travessia," "Minas," "San Vicente," "Nada Sera Comos Antes," as well as some gorgeous misses. The Essential Collection
could have been titled "The Essential Introduction" without being remiss at all.