Songs for a Lifetime
In a country where female singers seem to be better known than their male counterparts, it is often rewarding to hear of a new Brazilian male singer. The benefits are even better when he comes from outside the Rio de Janeiro – São Paulo axis. That is precisely the case of Gustavo Baião (Teresina, Piauí – 1975), His artistic name is music in itself. A singer, songwriter, pianist and arranger living in his hometown of Teresina, Gustavo released his first album, Segredos do Mar, in 2001. That release was comprised primarily of songs he had penned himself along with others by various Brazilian composers. Then at the beginning of 2015, he invited Gilson Peranzzetta (Rio de Janeiro, 1946) to record an album together. The album would pay homage to the extraordinary music of GIlson Peranzzetta and feature songs Gilson had written with names such as Ivan Lins, Paulo Cesar Pinheiro, Aldir Blanc, Vitor Martins, Nelson Wellington, João Cortez, Ana Terra, Paul Williams, and it also included a new partnership with Gustavo himself.
Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta is a wonderful tribute to the music we all know and have heard with performers such as Quincy Jones, George Benson, Ivan Lins, Sarah Vaughan, Edu Lobo, Djavan, Barbra Streisand, Dori Caymmi, Emílio Santiago and Jane Monheit among dozens of other great and renowned world performers. Here these songs are presented in arrangements created by Gilson himself, who also produced and played the piano on all tracks. I really like the trio approach used instead of a full orchestra. Besides that introspective and jazzy feel, the listener can also truly experience the richness of Gilson’s music and those beautiful lyrics more intimately. The other two members of this A-list trio are Zeca Assumpção (bass) and João Cortez (drums). The trio joins with Gustavo’s voice and renditions to create an impeccably beautiful and touching album.
A somewhat similar tribute to Gilson Peranzzetta had been recorded back in 1997 (Fonte das Canções) and featured a diverse array of Brazilian artists singing songs by Nelson Wellington on music by Gilson Peranzzetta. Here in Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta, the focus is broader, as other lyricists contribute to his music. Gustavo Baião’s soft voice sounds like a perfect match for these songs. Although with a different timbre, I cannot explain why his renditions make me think of two other favorite male performers in Brazil, namely Zé Luiz Mazziotti and Leonel Laterza. The way I look at it is that what is good in life needs no explanation. Such is the case of Gustavo Baião’s voice and this album! You will easily fall in love with the music that you’re familiar with because of Gustavo’s performances.
The repertoire is performed without any artifice, and that is another plus in the album. This does not mean that Gustavo does not surprise us in each track. Whether it is the timely citations of “Laura” (David Raksin – Johnny Mercer) at the end of “Sonho de Válvulas” and Billie Holiday’s “You’ve Changed” in “Foi por Amor,” the note-perfect attention to the gentle nature of these melodies is at the front of every arrangement and performance. Special guest stars Leila Pinheiro, João Senise and Célia Vaz also come into play in three tracks. Their additions are wonderful, but clearly not required. Gustavo’s command of this repertoire is clearly that of a seasoned singer. His interpretations of Aldir Blanc’s lyrics in “Foi por Amor,” for example, or Nelson Wellington’s “Sorriso de Luz” will leave you breathless and craving for more.
Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta gets it right in all fronts: great arrangements, competent musicians and Gustavo Baião’s commanding performances. It is albums like this that restore my faith in the good music coming out of Brazil. Rush and enjoy Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta.
Canções de Gilson Peranzzetta
Fina Flor 056 (2015)
- Sonho de Válvulas (Gilson Peranzzetta – Aldir Blanc)
- Sorriso de Luz (Gilson Peranzzetta – Nelson Wellington)
- Vai Ficar no Ar (Gilson Peranzzetta – João Cortez – Ana Terra) – w/ Leila Pinheiro
- Setembro (Gilson Peranzzetta – Ivan Lins)
- Na Trilha das Safiras (Gilson Peranzzetta – Aldir Blanc) – w/ João Senise
- Ressurgir (Gilson Peranzzetta – Nelson Wellington)
- Love Dance (Gilson Peranzzetta – Ivan Lins – Paul Williams) – w/ Célia Vaz
- Foi por Amor (Gilson Peranzzetta – Aldir Blanc)
- Delírio (Gilson Peranzzetta – Nelson Wellington)
- Tanto Mar (Gilson Peranzzetta – Gustavo Baião)
- Cicatrizes na Alma (Gilson Peranzzetta – Nelson Wellington)
- Virá (Gilson Peranzzetta – Ivan Lins – Vitor Martins)