Perhaps the most famous song on this album is "Cálice," the classic protest song written by Chico Buarque and Gilberto Gil, on which Buarque is accompanied by Milton Nascimento on vocals. Although very beautiful, "Cálice," with its mildly rock-oriented sound, isn't really representative for the rest of the album, whose sound is more traditional.
One of the first and most talented proponents of the Vanguarda Paulistana movement (urban classically trained musicians of the city of São Paulo who added erudite experimentations to pop music), Arrigo Barnabé is an internationally awarded composer/arranger with an expressive contribution to Brazilian music…
Released two years after her romantic and a little bit cheesy album "As canções que você fez pra mim", which covered Roberto Carlos' repertoire, "Ao vivo" sounds so much greater! Here she is much more passionate, powerful and compelling! As I always say, to know deeply Bethânia, it is just essential to listen her live. In "Ao vivo" she sings, among many others, several songs from the Roberto Carlos album, and most of them, especially "Fera ferida", "Costumes" and "Você não sabe" become much more touching, just wonderful. Chico Buarque's "Mar e Lua" is also thrilling, the best cover of this song I've ever heard. Other very nice tunes include Caetano Veloso's samba "Tudo de novo" and the ballads "Lua" and "Todo o sentimento". Highly recommended.
Recorded live in Brazil in 1990 and not released in the U.S. until now, "Tom Canta Vinicius" (translate "Tom Sings Vinicius") is Tom Jobim's tribute to his songwriting partner Vincinius de Moraes. While de Moraes was not nearly as famous as Mr. Jobim, his standing as a bossa nova original is secure, having helped pen several of the best-loved songs of that genre. Many of those were performed in this concert, including my favorite bossa tune, "Insensatez," one of the most beautiful songs of all time. Jobim was accompanied by his son Paulo, Danilo Caymmi and the Morelenbaums. In fact, Paula Morelenbaum sung most of the lead vocals - and did a magnificent job. Tom sang a few numbers alone or in duet with Paula, in his sometimes thin or fragile-sounding voice (but not really a problem, because you can feel his love for the songs). The sound quality for the recording is excellent - intimate and natural, like they're playing in your living room.
Vinicius de Moraes was the lyricist for many of Antonio Carlos Jobim's most durable melodies. This lovingly performed concert was recorded at Rio's Centro Cultural do Brasil with just a chamber-sized selection of players from Jobim's band of family and friends. A few well-known pieces are included - there is a very touching rendition of "Insensatez" that makes this often-played tune seem freshly minted - but most of the selections are among the less familiar fruits of the collaboration, along with a few songs that de Moraes wrote with Carlos Lyra and Toquinho. Some of de Moraes' own music is performed here as well, and selections like the stunning "Serenata do Adeus" prove that he, too, had a haunting way with a melody. Cushioned by the deep, soulful cello of Jaques Morelenbaum and by Danilo Caymmi's flute, with guitarist Paulo Jobim often the sole rhythmic component, Jobim's own rough, vulnerable voice and piano are offset by the clear, cool vocals of Paula Morelenbaum. Between numbers, Jobim offers his own running memoir in Portuguese, yet he could also flash his sense of humor - following de Moraes' "Canta ao Tom" with a parody co-written with Chico Buarque called "Canta do Tom" or playing a mischievous piano lick at the end of "The Girl From Ipanema." ~ Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide
Brazilian musicians and studios are fond of backup arrangements quite as mushy as anything the U.S. industry can provide, so live albums of Brazilian performers tend to be a lot more satisfying than studio gigs. That's certainly true of this release compared with his earlier Braziloid album. A punchy backup band does wonders for his attractively laidback style.
Recorded live at the Montreux Casino, in the 12th Montreaux International Jazz Festival, in 14th of July 1978, Switzerland. This live disc contains a spirited live performace that touches on the funkier side of Gil and Brasilian music in general. Especially memorable is the second tune, Chororo, which has a kind of joyous tropical feel to it which is counter balanced by a musical bridge which appears several times that puts the major chords of the vocals against the minor chords of the band, creating an interesting 'tense' section in an otherwise upbeat song. The cover of Tropicalia favorite Bat Macumba is terrific as well, very extended and different than the Os Mutantes version. This disc is a great addition to any MPB collection, and might also be enjoyed by the jam band set due to Gil's band's funky and frenetic back up work.