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Bebel Gilberto

BEBEL GILBERTO  (Six Degrees) • Bebel Gilberto

In my version of Heaven, this woman is singing.

Okay, I'll tell you the rest. I'm playing an ancient blonde nylon string guitar, and a very tall thin man, blacker than oil, is playing upright bass. He can barely contain his laughter because of the way the bearded percussionist is dancing and making subtly hilarious faces while he plays. The small crowd of listeners is completely under the singer's spell, moving in a way I've never seen before I came to this place. Multicolored birds sit on a budding branch without a sound, taking it all in. The vocalist is making hypnotic movements with her hands--she sings a few lines right to me, and then blinks her eyes, and my body begins to vibrate with awareness, resplendent with feelings of the deepest love.

It's not every singer that can inspire that kind of thing, right? Right. Bebel is a Brazilian treasure for the world to share, and we're lucky to have her.

Producer Marius DeVries is a magician on this record. He is an artist of the highest order. His work with Madonna, Bjork, Annie Lennox, and especially with Rufus Wainwright (who talks a little about him in our interview) are musical landmarks. DeVries reveals essential elements of the artists he produces, get their insides on the recording. He also collaborates in the songwriting and contributes beautiful keyboard tracks on this heavenly disc. Its lushness and delirious beauty are so far removed from the pain and the violence of the world that we believe it to have antidotal powers.

As we put forth in our review of Bebel's fantastic debut, Tanto Tiempo, she is the offspring of bossa nova royalty, Miúcha and João Gilberto. This release could trigger a global wave of bossa energy rippling over various cultural landscapes. It never goes away, just ebbs and flows, diving and surfacing.

The inspired collaborations are the heart of this record, beginning with Marius Devries. Rebel icon Caetano Veloso's song "Baby" opens the record, English lyrics by Os Mutantes, the Brazilian psychedelicists. Japanese guitarist Masaharu Shimizu composed the most amazing song on the album, "All Around," with the artist and producer, we must find out more about him… Other brilliant bossa nova offspring, Daniel Jobim (grandson of Antonios Carlos Jobim) and Pedro Baby (the son of singer Baby Consuelo and guitarist Pepeu Gomes) co-wrote the memorable "Every Day You've Been Away." Friend and keyboardist Didi Gutman co-wrote four incredible songs with the artist/producer team. The unbelievable Carlinhos Brown co-wrote "Jabuticaba" (a song about a Brazilian fruit that grows in the trunk of a tree--he insisted that she write the lyrics in English) and contributed his composition "Aganju." And we love "Cada Beijo," which the artist wrote with keyboardist Guy Sigsworth. The magic of "Céu Distante" is co-writer and international producer Pascal Gabriel, who's responsible for all of the track's instruments and programming, fantastic.

This is the best record I've heard all year. I live for music like this. Do yourself a favor, just buy it, here. • FG

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bebelgilberto.com      sixdegreesrecords.com

a marius devries interview      crammed.be

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