Bebel Gilberto | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Bebel Gilberto

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Tanto tempo, the million-selling debut of Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto, wasn't just a fine record: it brought bossa nova, the form pioneered by her dad, Joao, to a whole new audience. The polished electronic production of Suba and guest knob twirlers like Mario Caldato Jr., Amon Tobin, and Thievery Corporation helped recast a vintage Latin genre as a contemporary sound as pleasing to affluent urban listeners as trip-hop. The record inspired a host of imitators, a few of them worthy (Cibelle, for example, who played here two weeks back), most of them plastic. On Bebel Gilberto (Six Degrees/Ziriguiboom), her hotly anticipated follow-up, she and producer Marius de Vries have set her gorgeously restrained, subtly shaded singing against a predominantly acoustic backdrop. Gilberto seems to be pushing for a still broader audience, performing several tracks in English. The opener, an English-language cover of Caetano Veloso's classic "Baby," is like a cool breeze; another cover, of Carlinhos Brown's "Aganju," cycles over and over, gaining momentum with each rotation; "Simplesmente," an original and beautiful lyric ballad, floats along on bossa guitar figures and patiently swelling orchestration. A few of the straight bossas are unmemorable, but these are outweighed by bolder cuts like "Cada beijo," where the backing track is propelled by the savvy electronic programming of Guy Sigsworth, who's also worked with Bjork. $25. Monday, August 23, 7:30 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Roberto Ligresti.

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