In a happy coincidence, Brazilian filmmaker Andrucha Waddington asked Gilberto Gil to create a soundtrack for his new dramatic comedy, which took place in the arid interior region of Brazil's northeast.
The associations of the simple but tough lives of the film's rural characters brought Gil back to his own childhood, when he was enthralled by the "king of baiao," Luiz Gonzaga. Back then, the young Gil toted around an accordion and loved the lively rhythms that Gonzaga popularized. The adult Gil laid down 14 tracks as a homage to his boyhood idol, playing some of the songs that Gonzaga was known for, such as the anthem "Asa Branca," and penned several original tunes in the same spirit, including the current Brazilian hit "Esperando Na Janelo."
The album starts off with Gil's trademark breezy, joyful sound, but about half way through, the mood turns more melancholy, reflecting the hard-scrabble life of the sertao depicted in the film, entitled in Brazil. While Gil has become known as an innovator and a musician who is constantly synthesizing new sounds from outside of Brazil, this exploration of his own roots is just as welcome as his musical trips abroad. - Marty Lipp
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