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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

GILBERTO GIL

By MICHAEL COWAN
Published March 24, 2006

Kaya N’Gan Daya
WEA Music

At 60, Gilberto Gil is as prolific as ever. His newest collection, Kaya N’Gan Daya, follows in the footsteps of recent tributes to Brazilian folk legend Luiz Gonzaga. This time around, Gil pays homage to another idol: Bob Marley. Back in the ’70s, Gil had a monster hit covering “No Woman, No Cry,” and ever since has dabbled with reggae. Thanks in large part to his efforts, reggae has found a huge audience in Brazil, Marley very much a hero there. Brazilians have even contributed to reggae’s evolution with new forms like sambareggae, but nothing comes close to an entire disc devoted to traditional form. Kaya N’Gan Daya’s 16 tracks feature covers of many classics, including “Buffalo Soldier,” “Waiting In Vain,” “Could You Be Loved” and “Rebel Music.” While some of Gil’s fans will enjoy such a tribute, others may find themselves wondering if the master’s creative juices are running dry-it’s been a while since Gil has released any material that’s his.