An amazing collection – every single Jorge Ben album recorded for Philips – one hell of a massive legacy in music, packaged here with a bonus CD of rare material too! The albums in the collection are the stuff of legend – amazing discs that forever changed the face of Brazilian music with Jorge's unique blend of samba and soul, plus a touch of funk as the 70s came on – and together, the music is a mindblowingly heavy batch of work that few other artists could ever match! Titles include Samba Esquema Novo, Sacudin Ben Samba, Ben E Samba Bon, Big Ben, Jorge Ben (1969), Forca Bruta, Negro E Lindo, Ben, 10 Anos Depois, A Tabua De Esmeralda, Solta O Pavao, Gil E Jorge, and Africa Brasil. Rarities disc is unique to this set, from what we can tell – and is filled with goodies too!
One of arranger Gil Evans's main talents was his ability to fuse diverse, unique performers into a unified ensemble. He accomplishes that on the first of two LPs taken from a pair of 1980 concerts, even if his presence is felt more than heard. Although Evans is on electric piano, he also employed two other synthesizer players (Masabumi Kikuchi and Pete Levin) in his eclectic band, which at the time included such notables as Lew Soloff, Jon Faddis and Hannibal Marvin Peterson on trumpets, altoist Arthur Blythe, trombonist George Lewis, baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett and drummer Billy Cobham, among others. A lengthy "Anita's Dance" and a remake of "Gone, Gone, Gone" are the more memorable selections.
Acoustic MTV is a live album by Gilberto Gil, released in 1994 as part of the MTV Acoustic series. Between the tracks are old compositions of the musician and novelties. For being one of the first in the series, produced by MTV Brazil, did not have on the cover, the logo of the broadcaster or the symbol of 'Acoustic MTV', since it followed the pattern of the North American series of 'MTV Unplugged'. Where he brought only the artist in question, in the classic image, stool and guitar, with the other musicians in the background, reading only 'Gilberto Gil Unplugged'.
Between harsh criticism (due to the retro opportunistic use of Tropicália), and sectarian defense, Tropicália 2 yielded a Caetano Veloso/Gilberto Gil tour through E.U.A. and Europe one year after this release. The reference to Tropicália was used as a safe-conduct for the duo's incursions in electronics, axé music (the contemporary and pragmatic sound of Bahia) and other commercial exploitation – since under Tropicália everything goes (or used to go, some 30 years ago). The album opens with "Haiti," a dry percussive electronic pattern over which Caetano and Gil speak verses dealing with racism; "Cinema Novo" is a beautiful samba, whose lyrics "explain" and greet the Brazilian cinema movement which gained the world. "Nossa Gente" brings the percussive sounds of axé music together with funk brass attacks.