Tag Archives: Brazilian music

RIP Gal Costa (1945 – 2022)

“Lost in Paradise” van Veloso, gezongen door Costa

In Brazilië stierf de zangeres Gal Costa. Ze werd 77. Ik ben wel wat thuis in Braziliaanse muziek maar met het werk van Costa kwam ik eigenlijk nooit in aanraking. De Dewaele broers postten op hun Facebookmuur een foto[1] met 28 van haar hoezen die zij uit hun platenkast haalden. Mooie foto.

Door een kosmisch toeval was ik net voor Costa’s dood naar Marina Lima beginnen luisteren en nu lees ik op de Wikpiedia-pagina van Costa dat zij verliefd was op Marina. Mooi.

Ik nam me voor de tijd te nemen om het werk van Costa te verkennen maar ik verloor al snel mijn aandacht.

‘My little grasshopper … mijn kleine sprinkhaan.’

“Lost in Paradise” (1969)

Van die luistersessie bleef “Lost in Paradise” me bij omdat het een van de mooiste composities is op Stillness (1970) van Sérgio Mendes met Brasil ’66 waar Lani Hall zo loepzuiver op zingt.

Rust zacht Gal Costa

RIP Norman Gimbel (1927 – 2018)

This happened in 2018 but I’ve only just found out.

“¿Quién será?”

Norman Gimbel was an American lyricist of popular songs, television and movie themes known for the lyrics of such songs as “¿Quién será?” (1953), “Meditation” (1961), “How Insensitive” (1963), “Água de Beber” (1963), “Summer Samba” (1964), “The Girl from Ipanema” (1964) and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (1972).

“How Insensitive”
“Água de Beber”
“Summer Samba”
“The Girl from Ipanema”
“Killing Me Softly with His Song”

RIP Elza Soares (1930 – 2022)

Elza Soares was a Brazilian singer known for her work in samba. Early in her career she covered samba classics such as “Mas que Nada” (1963) and “Chove Chuva” (1963).

Deus É Mulher (2018)

Towards the end of her life she came with edgier work such as A mulher do fim do mundo (2015), Deus É Mulher (2018) and Planeta Fome (2019).

RIP João “bossa nova” Gilberto (1931 − 2019)

João Gilberto was a Brazilian musician known for pioneering the musical genre of bossa nova in the late 1950s.

The history of bossa nova starts with this recording:

Canção do Amor Demais (1958) by Elizete Cardoso

Canção do Amor Demais (1958) by Elizete Cardoso features the compositions “Chega de Saudade” and “Outra Vez”, both featuring João Gilberto’s guitar beat, which would go on to become a staple of bossa nova.

Then there is bossa nova’s defining moment, the release of “Bim-Bom” (1958), most often claimed to the first bossa recording.

Bim-Bom” (1958)

While researching Gilberto’s death it came to my attention that bossa nova is considered a nobrow phenomenon, i.e. the mixing of high and low culture .

Perhaps Caetano Veloso was the first to make this point in 2013 in The Guardian:

“It [bossa nova] was possibly the first popular music where the themes were existential […] It’s part of what makes it high art. Third-world countries usually produce raw materials that are then transformed into capital by first world nations. This happens in industry, but it also happens in the arts. What was revolutionary about bossa nova is that a third-world country was creating high art on its own terms, and selling that art around the world.” —Caetano Veloso in “Why bossa nova is ‘the highest flowering of Brazilian culture”.

When I further investigated, I came upon this quote by José Miguel Wisnik in Robert Stam’s World Literature, Transnational Cinema, and Global Media (2019) which makes the nobrow point explicitly:

The result within MPB (Popular Brazilian Music) was a perhaps unprecedented synthesis of “high” and “low” culture. Wisnik notes the “permeability established, beginning with Bossa Nova, between so-called culture and popular cultural production, forming a field of encounters that cannot be understood within the binary between music of entertainment and creative and informative music.