In the early '90s, in the middle of his mandate as councilman for Salvador, Gil was again concerned with the Afro roots of Brazilian people, and this album strongly reflects that. "Madalena" brings social criticism through Afro soca grooves. "Parabolicamara" builds a discourse about communications over a beautiful ponto de macumba melody with enriched harmonies. "Um Sonho" is a doleful toada about the lack of understanding of the popular soul by politicians and technocrats. "Buda Nago" is a tribute to Dorival Caymmi in Afro-Bahian style, which features the guest singer Nana Caymmi (Dorival's daughter and Gil's former wife).
Recorded the same year as Gil e Jorge, his brilliant collaboration with Jorge Ben, Refazenda keeps up the pace, but in a completely different way. Instead of the acoustic Brazilian folk of Gil e Jorge, Gil focuses on breezy pop. "Jeca Total," "Ê, Povo, Ê," "Tenho Sede," and the title track are dominated by flute, accordion, horns, and gentle strings. Gil is in excellent voice, whether he's delivering a driving song like "Essa é Pra Tocar No Rádio" or more intimate ballads like the last two tracks, "Lamento Sertanejo" and "Meditação." Though "Pai e Mãe" and a few other tracks are slightly reminiscent of the Gil e Jorge LP, Gil reasserts himself here as the pop star whom all of Brazil had expected him to be.
A previously unreleased live set recorded at London’s legendary Town and Country club and available for the first time on this two CD set. By the late 80s years of substance abuse had left Gil Scott-Heron rotten-toothed and out of it a lot of the time. In 1987 he missed a gig at London's Town & Country Club completely, turning up long after the venue had shut. The T&CC stuck with him though, booking him again in 1988 and hoping for the best. By then he'd gained a new manager, Freddie Cousaert, who had been responsible for turning the career of Marvin Gaye round in the early 80s, getting him off cocaine and back into the studio.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together–MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS–as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased. THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.
As on Caetano Veloso's album from the same year, Gilberto Gil does not sound happy away from his homeland. Recorded in London, the eight songs on his final self-titled album are mostly blues and introspective, downbeat pop songs. Steve Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home" is an inspired choice, delivered with a crushing sentimentality rarely found in other versions. Gil also reprises "Volks, Volkswagen Blues" from his 1969 LP. The effect isn't quite as doom-laden as Veloso's work, but Gil is definitely homesick, as the touching "Nêga (Photograph Blues)" shows. [This CD reisssue includes three bonus tracks: a live version of "Can't Find My Way Home" along with "Up from the Skies" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."]