Gilberto Gil
Hermeto Pascoal


Gilberto Gil

Forty years after its release, Gilberto Gil is revisiting one of his iconic albums: Refavela. Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira was born in 1942 in the ultimate Afro-Brazilian city of Salvador, Bahia, the city of candomblé, the assertion of negritude and the trance-like Afoxés carnival. The repertoire of the project he brings us shows an era in which Salvador natives collided with their Yorubas roots. Although Refavela, released in 1977, is rarely showcased in the singer’s discography (over sixty albums), the work occupies a significant place in it. At that time, Gil’s career had already spanned fifteen years (first single released in ‘62). From 1967, he was with Caetano Veloso, one of the spearheads of the Tropicalist revolution. The military dictatorship imprisoned him, then sent him to London in exile. On his return, he created his masterpiece Expresso 2222 (in 1972) and then released his ‘Re’ trilogy: Refazenda (75), Refavela (77) and finally Realce (79). In the middle of this period, Gil was invited to the World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture which took place in 1977 in Nigeria. “I thought of recording a new album when I was in Lagos,” he said. This trip to Africa inspired him to make ‘Aqui e Agora’, ‘Refavela’ and ‘Balafon’. The Nordeste idol recalled how he “brought back a balafon from the Gulf of Guinea and immediately wrote the piece with this instrument.”

Line-up: Gilberto Gil (v, g) Mayra Andrade (v), Chiara Civello (v), Mestrinho (v, accordéon), , Bem Gil (g), Domenico Lancellotti (dms, perc), Bruno Di Lullo (b), Thomas Harres (perc), Thiagô Queiroz (sax, fl), Mateus Aleluia Filho (tp et bgl), Nara Gil et Ana Lomelino (bkv)

Photo : © DR

Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo

The white bearded and flowery shirted Hermeto Pascoal has a unique place in the mythology of the 1970s and Brazilian music. A kind of tropical Sun Ra, a whole galaxy all to himself, generating a whole host of satellites, the self-taught artist has created an unparalleled musical world. The disconcerting calligraphies he uses as sheet music show what a true extra-terrestrial he is. This original musician, through the grace of his mischievous poetry filled with emanations from nature, can use the sound of a kettle or transform the squeal of a pig into an ode to joy. Everything he touches turns to magic. Even when he moves towards more academic jazz, he achieves something quite different from an empty demonstration. The magician from Alagoas (Brazil) has always combined his uniqueness with the multiple skills of an ensemble converted to his iconoclastic visions. After his debuts in around 1960 (with Conjunto Som), this was especially the case in the 1970s, when, after a short electric adventure with Miles Davis, he released a series of ground-breaking albums, from A Música Livre (73) to Slaves Mass (77). This is also shown in unreleased recordings from 1976 produced by Rogerio Duprat and the recently rediscovered Hermeto Pascoal & Grupo Vice Versa Viajando Com O Som (2017). Now in his 80s, the old master is as inventive as ever, playing in a sextet and inventing a surreal language where the smallest tonic accent raises questions about the very nature of sound.

Line-up : Hermeto Pascoal (p, k, fl), Fabio Pascoal (perc), Itiberê Zwarg (b, voc),André Marques (p), Jota P (sax, fl), Ajurinã Zwarg (dms)

Photo : © Gabriel Quintão