Gilberto Gil's world is a place where folk music, classical music and popular music are almost irrelevant phrases, where the archaic and the contemporary are timelessly intertwined, where the computer chip and the skin of the drum are the lion and the lamb. He has an angelic voice and a demonic inspiration. Gil has been a member of pop glitterati and a dweller in the "sertão" (backlands) over his decades of music making, producing pure slick pop and gorgeous, over the top art music as well as flirting with what we might call folk here in North America.
O Solo de Oslo is a wonderful one. It is subtle. It seems at first glance a folky album of nice songs and simple arrangements. Underneath the facade, though, lies yet another work of complexity and surprise. Under the guidance of producer and bassist Rudolf Stroeter, Gil has created a global country orchestra. The extraordinary, earthy voice of Marlui Miranda is an excellent foil for Gil's clear high notes. Trilock Gurtu, who takes the tablas from Bombay to Los Angeles and on to Oslo, interjects sparse, effective percussive elements. Toninho Ferragutti's accordion keeps the back country element strong, while Norwegian electronics manipulator Bugge Wesseltoft proves that silicon is an earth element in the right hands. This ensemble sounds like it has spent time on the road, rather than the studio creation it is. Tight and intuitive, they drive the music in unexpected directions without ever going off the path.
O Solo de Oslo is a collection of contemporary songs, original works and old folk songs, each placed in a unique context, heavy on "the now" and very local in spite of its global inception. - CF
from the album O Sol De Oslo
Song is Public Domain, sound sample used with permission of the publisher