Thursday, May 29, 2008

slaves to the rhythm

50 Years of Bossa Nova @ the Barbican, 26th May
with Vinicius Cantuária, Dori Caymmi, João Donato, Celso Fonseca, Joyce, Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menescal, Clara Moreno, Wanda Sa and Marcos Valle

It's probably a bit churlish to complain that this gig was a bit samey and I can't really say it didn't do what it said on the tin. Certainly there was no shortage of soothing baritone voices over lilting guitar figures--and the majority of the singers, male and female alike, accompanied themselves on the guitar (it's as if forty or fifty years ago Brazilian children learned these guitar parts as they started to walk and talk). More of a keyboard-based sound was provided by the contributions of Joyce, João Donato and particularly the funkier sound of Marcos Valle's electric piano but I actually found the more "traditional" approach of Vinicius Cantuária's performance the most affecting. Singing in little more than a whisper and quietly accompanied only on his own gently plucked acoustic guitar, he managed--impressively--to bring the enthusiastic (mainly Brazilian) sell-out Barbican crowd to an appreciative hush.

A couple of press reviews:
- The Independent
- The Times

Other stuff:
- Video material from BBC's recent "Brasil Brasil" series
- Wikipedia tells it like it is

- If you type "bossa nova" into youtube, you get some real rubbish: here are some good bits though by the important bossa nova people:

Águas de Março by Tom Jobim & Elis Regina:

Chega de saudade by Joao (and presumably Astrud) Gilberto:

Desafinado by Joao Gilberto:

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