This is undoubtedly the equivalent of Gilberto Gil "Unplugged" – Gil, his acoustic guitar, and a nonelectric five-piece band recorded live in a studio – and it is a thoroughly musical triumph as Gil mesmerizes his attentive audience for some 74 minutes. He starts out with the nearly pure reggae of "A Novidade," but before long, he establishes himself in a mostly consistent, loping set of intimate grooves thoroughly rooted in Brazil. Gil had a hand in writing all of this tuneful material except Anastacia Dominguinhos' "Tenho Sede," Caetano Veloso's "Sampa," and a left-field choice, Stevie Wonder's "The Secret Life of Plants," which lends itself very well to Gil's bossa nova approach and proenvironmental position. It is not a complete live portrait of Gil, though; the astounding quickness and flexibility of his voice is fully vented only toward the end of the concert. The later Quanta Live album will give you a wider panorama of Gil's range.
The end of the military dictatorship in Brazil left the country lost in its references and opened way for a period of wild hedonism. Realce, one of Gilberto Gil's most disco-influenced albums, is a document of that period. Released in LP format in 1979, it had the disco ideology expressed in several songs like "Realce" (which became slang for a dangerous drug frequently consumed in those places), "Sarara Miolo" (also a danceable tune, finds room for social criticism through black pride, where Gil reproaches the use of straightening and discoloring of hair by his brothers and sisters), "Marina" (featuring Dorival Caymmi), and "Toda Menina Baiana" (a hybrid of disco and Bahian samba).
To lovers of Brazilian jazz, the pairing of these two legends of the genre amounts to something of a musical orgasm. The only serious misfire isn't really that bad, just a bit incongruous. Why would two consummate Brazilian ambassadors choose to do their one English lyric song – George Harrison's "Something" – as a reggae tune? The groove is silly, but actually some of the guitar work is fun. Just as when Ivan Lins sings in his native Portuguese rather than stilted English, this tandem is most at home conveying emotions that go beyond simple semantics, usually with Gil writing the music and Nascimento the lyrics. "Sebastian" is a moody bass-and-drum driven power ballad which functions as a showcase to their raspy vocals.
After decades of sold out shows and international recognition, musician Gilberto Gil embarks on a new kind of world tour through the southern hemisphere. From Bahia, he travels to the land of the Aborigines of Australia and the townships of South Africa, ending in the Brazilian Amazon region. With the same passion, Gil continues the work he began as Brazil’s first black Minister of Culture – promoting the power of cultural diversity in a globalized world and sharing his vision for our future: a diverse, interconnected planet filled with hope, exchange… and of course music!
This 18-track anthology spans three decades, but the only way you'd know is through the gentle introduction of studio technology. Together with his friend Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil ushered in the late-60s tropicalismo style, which blended a variety of regional genres to form a musical challenge to Brazil's then-oppressive regime. Their lyrics were dense and allusive, their tempi were exhilaratingly fast. Gil's own songs are perfectly attuned to his light, high timbre; his favourite accompaniment is a delicately-strummed acoustic guitar, which often descends to a confidential whisper. If he uses a backing group, he does so very discreetly; a light touch of Latin percussion is quite sufficient to allow him to float his songs into the ether. This exhilarating album begins with his early song about his home patch in Salvador "Toda Menina Baiana", and moves on through a gamut of national styles and moods.
Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and his political commitment. A leader of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil in 1967 and 1968 along with artists like Caetano Veloso and Gal Costa, he and other musicians mixed native styles with rock and folk instruments. Because Gil fused samba, salsa, and bossa nova with rock and folk music, he's recognized today as one of the pioneers in world music.
Unlike his friend and fellow Brazilian musical legend, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, through the years, has had a strong tendency to follow the temporary shifts in styles and trends that occur within popular music. Because of this the music of Gil usually has sounded very up to date when it was released, but often his recordings haven't at all aged as gracefully as the timeless music of Caetano Veloso. The tracks on many of the albums of Gilberto Gil have also been of very uneven quality. Refavela is clearly one of the exceptions to this rule. Heavily inspired by traditional African and Afro-Brazilian sounds and rhythms, the songs on this album have aged very well indeed.