Del Greenwich Village a Cosquín


Brasil es una increíble fuente de voces femeninas. He puesto algo aquí de muchas de ellas. Hace poco me hice de “Hoje”, el último disco en estudio de Gal Costa, del año 2005. Luego vinieron dos discos en vivo, uno de ellos en Blue Note, los dos son del 2006. Luego no hubo más nada de Gal Costa. Hace unas semanas estuvo en el festival de Cosquín, extrañamente no pasó por Buenos Aires.


Gal Costa es otra maravilla de esta parte del mundo. Aquí haciendo un tema del disco “Hoje”, sospecho que de los shows del 2006.

Acá una rareza, junto a Roberto Carlos, haciendo uno de esos temas indestructibles de Roberto y Erasmo Carlos, “Sua estupidez”. Gal Costa hacía este tema a comienzos de los 70.

Gal Costa Sings Bossa Nova at the Blue Note
Ben Ratliff – New York Times – 18/05/2006

The Brazilian singer Gal Costa came to the Blue Note this week with a small band and did what great, experienced pop singers often promise to do but rarely pull off: she rescaled her performance to jazz-club dimensions. Her opening set on Tuesday was like one long, well-balanced exhalation, warm and quiet and cathartic. She had a sound in mind and got to the point.
For the most part she chose the comfort of a bossa nova repertory that slightly predated her own career – which began in the mid-1960’s – but that she has gracefully inherited, mostly songs associated with the twin powerhouses of Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto. They are famously subtle, but their secrets remain pretty open: they have gorgeous moving harmonies, and they are lavish with a rhythm that pulsates beneath the surface.
Ms. Costa met their demands. Her voice has minimal vibrato and a little bit of Billie Holiday’s midregister honk; it has thickened slightly over the years, and she favors the full, true, airy note, held just long enough for its significance to settle in.
Taking the idea of jazz-club music seriously – she usually plays bigger concerts on the rare image occasions that she comes here – Ms. Costa and her four-piece band revealed bossa nova in its old, first-wave style. Marcus Teixeira played Gilberto-like guitar chords and asymmetrical rhythms. Zé Canuto wound counterpoint passages on alto saxophone and flute around Ms. Costa’s vocal lines. The drummer Jurim Moreira played Brazilian rhythms with hands and brushes on a minimal kit, occasionally giving the bass drum a hard, resonant kick to insinuate the low beat of the surdo drum in samba.
The band’s sound also benefited from an acoustic bass, or something close, anyway, played by Adriano Giffoni: it was a fretless semi-acoustic upright. All this was a relief. Ms. Costa had the courage to use simple ingredients.
Of the Jobim repertory, she knocked off several of the big ones: “Fotografia,” “Desafinado,” “Chega de Saudade,” “Vou Te Contar,” “Corcovado” and “Garota de Ipanema.” She sang “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” demonstrating that she had put in some hard listening to Chet Baker’s version; she also sang “As Time Goes By” and three songs from the 1930’s and 1940’s by Ary Barroso, including the devastating “Prá Machucar Meu Coração.”
Ms. Costa gave just enough of herself. She began the set warily, and her first few songs were tentative. Then she consolidated her strengths and everything clicked. Her stagecraft, which here wasn’t much more than a natural, sexy-maternal manner of moving, smiling and serially locking eyes with front-row patrons, was fully on. She owned the music, easily and contentedly.

Gal Costa continues through Sunday at the Blue Note, 131 West Third Street, Greenwich Village,(212) 475-8592