One of the things I've liked about Bebel Gilberto's works are that she's managed to evolve her sound through the years. From working long ago with Cazuza and others, to Towa Tei and Thievery Corporation and then Ziriguiboom/Crammed. She's been an influential and important part of the nova bossa nova movement. Now, she's released a new al bum on the Verve label. I agree that this is fitting considering her heritage and upbringing, which included being around the musical talents of the original bossa nova artists; her father, Joao Gilberto, Luiz Bonfa, Stan Getz, Miucha - her mother, Laurindo Almeida and loads of others who were big contributors to the label. But still I wanted to wait a little to review this one because ever since Tanto Tempo back in 2000, I was a bit underwhelmed at first by her subsequent albums, only to listen to them again and conclude that they were really fair releases.
Here, she sort of picks up where she left off with Momento but has a more organic sounds. Though it's with Verve, it's not your typical 'jazz' album and she had a few terrific guests work on the production and arrangements of the songs. Not least of which being Carlinhos Brown! Some of my favorite songs on this album were ones that he had a hand in including "Cancao De Amor" which flows a bit like a lullaby and especially "All in One", which she pulled off singing in English. Terrific tempo and patterns. "Bim Bom" was nicely done too with Daniel Jobim (Tom Jobim's grandson). I enjoyed "Nossa Senhora", which had a nice dropping beat in the background but I especially liked her version of "Chica Chica Boom chic" more. A soft, not too assuming beat that felt every bit like Brasil - and that promises to be fantastically remixed in the future. What strikes me about this album and her others is that they're all pretty consistent - but with this one there is just something that does make it a "Verve" album, with an ambiance that somehow actually reminds me of some of Astrud Gilberto's works.
I'd recommend this, and I'd recommend giving it more than one listen to really judge it. Her sound is never really overwhelming, but she's managed to always put out nice albums. If I had any criticism, it would be that for the talent of the producers, on occasion I think the timing was off on a few samples - but that's a bit too pedantic. I also wish that on some songs which were sang in English, she also did in Portuguese as extras on the album because to me, they may sound better; more natural. Hopefully in the future, we may see her work with Christian Franck again and Apollo 9, or with the Far Out Records. Would also be nice, since she enjoys singing in English on some songs, to hear her give "California Soul" a try because her voice could work. Until then, this is a nice, enjoyable album with a bit of a verve feel!
And of course - be on the lookout for her upcoming tour.