João Gilberto – Live At Umbria Jazz (2002)

FrontCover1Guitarist/vocalist Joao Gilberto is credited with being the originator of the bossa nova, due to his 1950s affiliation with songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim. Hence, the rest is history. While this recording captures his genius via a solo perfomance at Italy’s “Umbria Jazz” festival in 1996. His easily identifiable sound is intact here, as Gilberto delves into fourteen pieces, composed by Jobim and others. The artist’s wistful, hush-toned vocals and rhythmically charged acoustic guitar work just reaffirms his significance in modern music. He typifies the coolness of Brazil amid his relatively toe-tapping pulses and contrasting melodic interludes. Part of the beauty, resides within his often-lilting harmonic structures, deterministic sense of purpose and understated themes. Gilberto’s sensual demeanor and calming celebration of life hits the mark in a huge way, largely due to his effortless mode of execution and inspiring musical persona. (by Glenn Astarita)

Joăo Gilberto on stage at the sold-out Teatro Morlacchi is at his seductive best, which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s whispering. For the appreciative European audience, the singer was more than willing to exercise his vocal chords, express a wide range of emotions, and even produce the occasional vibrato, a taboo for most of his career. Moreover, CD listeners who were forced to crank up the volume in order to hear Joăo Voz e Violăo (2000) will be glad to know that both voice and guitar are captured with excellent clarity on Live at Umbria Jazz.


All the songs on the disc were composed between 1942 and 1963. These 21 years cover Joăo’s formative period, from his childhood in Juazeiro to the early years of his solo career. Eight of the fourteen songs were written by Dorival Caymmi or Tom Jobim, all within a narrow period in each composer’s career. Caymmi is represented with “Rosa Morena” (1942), “Doralice” (1945), “Lá Vem a Baiana” (1947), and “Saudade da Bahia” (1957); Jobim with “Chega de Saudade” (1958), “Desafinado” (1959), “Corcovado” (1960), and “Garota de Ipanema” (1962). The four Caymmi songs had been hits before Joăo recorded them—three were released while he was in his teens. The Jobim songs, on the other hand, were all launched by Joăo himself…  (by Daniella Thompson)

Recorded Live in Perugia, Italy, during Umbria Jazz Festival at Teatro Morlacchi,
July 21st 1996



João Gilberto (vocals, guitar)


01. Isto Aqui O Que E? (Barroso) 3.17
02 De Conversa Em Conversa (Albes/Barbosa) 2.36
03. Pra Que Discutir Com Madame? (Barbosa/De Almeida) 4.15
04. Malaga (Bongusto) 4.16
05. Estate (Martino/Brighetti) 4.37
06. La Vem A Baiana (Caymmi) 4.45
07. Corcovado (Jobim) 3.56
08. Doralice (Caymmi/Almeida) 2.11
09. Rosa Morena (Caymmi) 3.17
10. Desafinado (Jobim/Mendonca) 7.32
11 Saudade Da Bahia (Caymmi) 2.43
12 O Pato (Teixeira/Silva) 4.26
13 Chega de Saudade (Jobim/ de Moraes) 6.41
14 Garota de Ipanema (Jobim/ de Moraes) 5.17