Through it all, Gal Costa has proven to be a Master Composer

No album cover was available online for her 1992 album simply titled Gal but,

Image courtesy of my own personal collection

Image courtesy of my own personal collection

inside the songs she sings are very sweet.

Starting with a short interlude, the pace picks up on Track 2, “Revolta Olodum” .  The next two tracks very similar and frenetic in pace, while Track 5 is the true keeper with her English take on the Cole Porter classic tune, “The Laziest Gal in Town.”  By combining both very steady beats and sensual rhythms, her voice on that song is like a combination of Fabiana Passoni meeting Diana Krall meeting Lani Hall post-Sergio Mendes fame, in terms of having a very low pitch in their voices.

Plenty of drums on Track 9 on “Saudacao Aos Povos Africanos (translated simply as a “Salute to African People.”)  Following another short 30 second interlude which sounds almost like your typical airline commercial, it is back to the slower, refined pace with Track 11, “Caminhos Cruzados” (or simply translated as, “Corners.”)  A few more scat-like rhythms lead to the final 40 seconds saluting her homeland.

Just like my headline said, this artist definitely belongs in the similar breath among great female Brazilian jazz artists–about on par with the likes of trailblazers in Astrud Gilberto, Elis Regina, Lani Hall, Karen Phillip of Sergio Mendes Brasil ’66 fame.

With spring eventually to make its’ belated entrance once again to the northern half of the United States, I plan to talk about some springlike albums in my weekly entries throughout April.

Also, I plan to take a brief break from the CD reviews as I will dive into my third installment of the “Movie Break” series which profiles a Brazilian soundtrack.  Saluting its’ 50th anniversary here in 2014 is when everybody’s “Girl from Ipanema” Astrud Gilberto sang her signature tune with Stan Getz as part of a Who’s Who of music stars during the 1964 movie, Get Yourself A College Girl.  This movie also featured cameos by The Standells, The Jimmy Smith Trio, The Animals (I kid you not on the group’s title), Freddie Bell with Roberta Lynn and the Bell Boys, and of course, The Dave Clark Five.

Look for that during the week leading up to the Easter holiday.

But of course, my next blog will briefly talk about the Brazilian Fun Jazz Final four.  Who will make it and whose name in popularity bit the dust?  Just like Louisville bowing out late to their in-state rivals in Kentucky on Friday night, we will have a new champion as Fabiana Passoni graciously passed the virtual torch to Gisele de Santi.

And that, my friends, is not an upcoming April Fool’s joke.  Hope to see you then.


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