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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

GILBERTO GIL

By MICHAEL COWAN
Published March 3, 2006

Aquele Abraco
Iris Music

The first, and maybe only, frustrating thing about this two-disc collection from Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil is what seems to be a lack of truth-in-advertising on the part of the folks at the record label. It’s not, as it purports to be, a “tribute,” but rather, simply a reissue of two very excellent albums, both from the late ’80s: Soy Loco por Ti America and Ao Vivo em Toquio. Too many tracks from the Gil canon are missing from this collection for it to really be considered a proper tribute. But what is here, and there’s lots, is fantastic. The songs include re-recordings of many of Gil’s signature classics from the late ’60s and ’70s, gems like “Aquele Abraco,” “Toda Menina Baiana,” Baba Ala Pala” and “Sarara Miolo.” The band is tight and the live disc is a tremendous example of the excitement of seeing Gil live in concert. He shows that he’s a true master, excelling at everything from funk to pop, bossa nova and reggae. With a remarkable career that’s spanned almost 40 years, these two CDs capture some wonderful moments from the legend at his best.