Gilberto Gil | Symphony Center | International | Chicago Reader

Gilberto Gil Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., April 2, 8 p.m. 2010

To judge by the records Gilberto Gil has made with a full band over the past three decades, the Brazilian legend has lost his edge—too many of them are frothy crowd pleasers whose slick, swiftly dated arrangements obscure the intelligence of his songcraft. But stripped-down recordings like the solo album Gil Luminoso (released in Brazil in 1999 and in the U.S. by DRG in '07) and the recent live disc Banda Dois (Warner Music Brasil), where he's joined only by his son Bem on second guitar and percussion, prove that his music can still be intimate and intricate. Gil can get a little carried away, crossing the line between exuberance and showing off, but alone or with only the sketchiest of accompaniment he sounds way better than on his latest studio effort, the overwrought Banda Larga Cordel. His guitar playing, steeped in the seductive rhythms of samba and bossa nova, isn't overwhelmed by an electric band, and his rich falsetto, now well worn and occasionally unsteady, shapes his melodies with astonishing beauty and warmth. Tonight's concert is a trio performance: Gil and Bem will be joined by cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, a top-notch arranger who worked on many of Caetano Veloso's best 90s albums. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15-$50

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