Gilberto Gil: BandaDois

Robin Denselow

Brazil's former minister of culture is enjoying himself. Freed from the constraints of office, the country's best-known singer-songwriter is clearly determined to show that his voice, guitar work and range are as impressive as ever. His last studio album, Banda Larga Cordel, showed he was still willing to experiment, and this new live set is a further reminder of his ability to develop. His lengthy career has included playing a key role in the rock-influenced Tropicália movement, the establishment of a Brazilian reggae scene, and excursions into anything from forró to electronica. On this album he is backed by his own acoustic guitar, with just a little help from his sons Bem and José, adding additional guitar, percussion and occasional bass. There is just one guest appearance, from Maria Rita, reviving the breezy Amor Até o Fim, a song by Gil once recorded by Maria Rita's remarkable mother, Elis Regina. For the most part, it's an exuberant solo set in which Gil reworks anything from Dorival Caymmi's lilting Saudade da Bahia to Jackson do Pandeiro's Chiclete Com Banana, with his own compositions ranging from the recent and thoughtful La Renaissance Africaine to the cheerful sing-along Expresso 2222, first recorded when he was exiled to London by the Brazilian military authorities in 1969.

in, 08.04.2010
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