Seducing New York
It’s a rare occasion when one of Brazil’s most famous divas performs in a small club. Such an occasion took place earlier this year (May 16 – 21, 2006) in New York City’s renowned Blue Note jazz club. And the diva at charge was Gal Costa. It was the ideal moment for New York’s record label DRG to tape the concert for the release of a live cd. DRG recently started to enrich its catalogue with Brazilian music. What better way to introduce Gal Costa to the label than with a unique performance like this?
The circumstances were perfect. Gal’s voice sounded fantastic, the band she brought perfectly answered to the intimacy of the concert, the audience seemed to understand what was going on and the repertoire formed a good introduction to Gal’s career. She chose to do some kind of a remake of the somewhat over-arranged Jobim tribute she did in 1999. The classic Bossa Nova standards by Antônio Carlos Jobim are among Gal’s trademark songs. In New York, Gal performed the songs with a wink to her other musical hero João Gilberto. It’s no secret that Gal Costa admires this bossa icon. In the introduction to “Chega de Saudade,” Gal kindly refers to the master, her guru. And with this quartet that reference was even stronger. The quartet’s musical director, guitarist Marcus Teixeira proved to be the perfect musician for Gal at the Blue Note. His bossa nova and samba-canção techniques on the acoustic guitar are a constant feature on this album. Marcus has been working with great artists like Rosa Passos, Angela Maria and Zé Luiz Mazziotti. Saxophonist/ Flutist in New York was Zé Canuto. He got a chance to deliver some wonderful solos, clearly appreciated by the jazz minded audience. Not strange if you keep in mind that Zé has worked with musicians like Michel Legrand, Billy Cobham, Flora Purim and Airto. Bassist Adriano Giffoni also showed his jazz chops. He sounds outstanding in each song. His bass lines are beautifully chosen with an impressive balance between Brazilian and jazz tradition. The sound of his bass is extraordinary, too. He’s featured in a duet with Gal on “Nada Além,” accompanied only by snapping fingers from the audience. Drummer Jurim Moreira has been a regular feature with Gal for many years. On this occasion he modestly served the music with Gal’s appreciation for João Gilberto in mind. In that line, Gal also showed a little insight in one of her future projects: singing the music of the late jazz trumpeter/singer Chet Baker. Her renditions of “I Fall in Love Too Easily” (from 1950, by Styne/Cahn) and “As Time Goes By” (written by Hupfeld in 1939) confirm that Gal is more than comfortable with Chet Baker’s repertoire and humble style.
It all contributed to a memorable series of concerts in New York. With her quality voice, her music and her charming announcements in even more charming English, Gal ruthlessly seduced her audience. This cd is a very good document of the event. Gal Costa seems ready to expand her popularity outside Brazil again!
Live at the Blue Note
DRG Brazil 31614 (2006)
- Fotografia (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Desafinado (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Newton Mendonça)
- Chega de Saudade (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- Camisa Amarela (Ary Barroso)
- Pra Machucar Meu Coração (Ary Barroso)
- Ave Maria no Morro (Herivelto Martins)
- Nada Além (Mario Lago – Custódio Mesquita)
- I Fall in Love Too Easily (Jule Styne – Sammy Cahn)
- Corcovado (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Triste (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Wave (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Coisa Mais Linda (Carlos Lyra – Vinícius de Moraes) / As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld)
- Samba do Avião (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Sábado em Copacabana (Dorival Caymmi – Carlos Guinle) / Copacabana (João de Barro – Alberto Ribeiro)
- Garota de Ipanema (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Vinícius de Moraes)
- A Felicidade (Antônio Carlos Jobim)
- Aquarela do Brasil (Ary Barroso)