Master Composers: Gal Costa definitely belongs on any Brazilian jazz fan’s list

With the small hint of spring finally hitting the Midwest on Monday, I thought it was best to profile one of the key MPB’s of the late part of the 20th century.

Born Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos in Salvador, Bahia on September 26, 1945, Gal Costa suffered in losing her father when she was 15.  Later befriended by the future spouses of Caetono Veloso and Gilberto Gil, she began performing professionally in 1965 under the guidance of Maria Bethania.  The Domingo album proved to be very successful in 1967, and would string together 14 more albums in every year between 1969 and 1983 (except for a gap in 1971-72 and 1976).

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

The first album worth profiling is from 1984, just as the Olivia Newton-John craze was winding down in the United States and MTV just could not get enough of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.

It leads off with a rocking song called, “Vaca Profana” (or “Unholy Cow”, I am sure she was not making fun of the late, great baseball announcer Harry Caray).

Then, it leads to plenty of faster lyrics and off beats in “Ave Nossa.”  A much slower song appears on Track 3 called “Nada Mais” (“Lately”).  The pattern of faster tempo songs on the even tracks, followed up by slower songs on the odd tracks continues throughout the rest of the disk.

Overall, it is a very decent listen and copies are available online but surprisingly, no review was ever mentioned on her Wikipedia page.

Later this week (to make up for being busy in covering my other blog and briefly suffering a cold at the beginning of the month), look for a review with her album cover showcasing her mostly from the shoulders up.  Yes, that is right–her 1988 album of “Fantasia” will be examined a bit later on this week.

And yes, the final countdown to the second annual Brazilian Jazz fun tournament style blog is taking shape.

There will be some new artists entering the fray.  But as far as the 68 artist/group field, it is all a secret for now.  In the meantime, please blow your virtual candles towards one of my favorite artists who is doing her fourth album slated for release sometime later this year–Fabiana Passoni celebrated another birthday this past weekend.

And yes, I hope she was thankful for the small things in life.  Just checking, my kind Fabiana.  I cannot wait to get my hands on your new CD when it is released.  Please keep up that excellent singing!


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