Monday, May 7, 2012

Beleza Acústica: Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (born June 26, 1942), better known as Gilberto Gil is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political commitment. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil's Minister of Culture in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Gil's musical style incorporates an eclectic range of influences, including rock music, Brazilian genres including samba, African music, and reggae.
Gil started to play music as a child and was still a teenager when he joined his first band. He began his career as a bossa nova musician, and then grew to write songs that reflected a focus on political awareness and social activism. He was a key figure in the Música Popular Brasileira and tropicália movements of the 1960s, alongside artists such as longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso. The Brazilian military regime that took power in 1964 saw both Gil and Veloso as a threat, and the two were held for nine months in 1969 before they were told to leave the country. Gil moved to London, but returned to state of Bahia in 1972 and continued his musical career, as well as working as a politician and environmental advocate. (Wikipedia)

I lived and worked for a little while in Angola where I made a good friend by the name of Joao Neves.  He was married to one of my colleagues and was a gentle man.  Like everyone in Angola, Joao seemed simultaneously committed to and inebriated by the politics that rose from the earth like steam after the summer rain. But also slightly bemused and uncertain of what it all meant.   His way of coping was to laugh and love.

He was the one who recommended Gilberto Gil to me.

Acoustic 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 pro-environmental 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. (allmusic)

Bom dia, Joao!

         Track Listing
01. A Novidade
02. Tenho Sede
03. Refazenda
04. Realce
05. Esoterico
06. Drao
07. A Paz
08. Beira Mar
09. Sampa
10. Parabolicamara
11. The Secret Life of Plants
12. Tempo Rei
13. Expresso 2222
14. Aquele Abraco
15. Palco
16. Toda Menina Baiana

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