First Listen: 'Tudo' By Bebel Gilberto

Tudo is the latest album from Bebel Gilberto, who began singing at seven years old with her father bossa nova great Joao Gilberto. This latest CD is an artful contribution to Bebel Gilberto's career.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's go from movies to music. When she was 7 years old, a girl named Bebel Gilberto began singing with her father. He was one of the great performers of Brazilian bossa nova, and she has grown up to make a career of her own. Her latest album is called "Tudo," and the hosts of NPR Music's Alt.Latino, Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras, sat down to talk about it.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: I like the Antonio Carlos Jobim track "Vivo Sonhando."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIVO SONHANDO")

(Singing in Portuguese.)

CONTRERAS: It's a bossa nova classic, and it's soaking in Saldaje, that emotional spirit of Brazilian music. And it's really hard to describe. The English lyrics of this song give you little insight into the magic of what the subtle rhythms and the impassioned vocals of the best bossa nova are all about.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "VIVO SONHANDO")

: (Singing) So I go asking if maybe one day you'll care. I tell my sad little dreams to the soft evening air.

CONTRERAS: OK, Jas, what did you like?

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Well, you know, I got to say overall this album - I found it just so soothing and calming and breezy and also joyful. It's complex, and I think that Bebel Gilberto does a really good job at that. It's not the most innovative album, but it's really good. And some good things like bossa nova don't necessarily need to be improved upon. And on that note, I want to share the song - and I'm so sorry, literally, Felix, pardon my French, it's so bad (laughter) - "Tout Est Bleu" - everything is blue.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOUT EST BLEU")

: (Singing in French).

CONTRERAS: OK, next up I thought it was fascinating that she took on Neil Young with his track, "Harvest Moon." And musically on the album, it doesn't change much. There's slight bossa nova feel, and the selection really reflects her range of influences because she cites Neil Young as one of her favorite songwriters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HARVEST MOON")

: (Singing) I'm still in love with you on this harvest moon.

GARSD: Felix, I'm glad you brought in the "Harvest Moon" cover because I think this is actually a very well-thought-out album. From the cover she does to even singing in Frenc -, I mean, it just goes so well with the idea of bossa nova, that sweet sensuous melancholy. This is definitely a beautiful, beautiful album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UNIDENTIFIED TRACK")

: (Singing in Portuguese).

INSKEEP: That's Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras of NPR's Alt.Latino giving us a first listen to Bebel Gilberto's latest album , "Tudo." It's out next week. You can hear the entire album as a part of our first listen series now at npr.org/music or just listen to this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UNIDENTIFIED TRACK")

: (Singing in Portuguese).

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First Listen: Bebel Gilberto, 'Tudo'

Bebel Gilberto's new album, Tudo, comes out Aug. 19. i i

Bebel Gilberto's new album, Tudo, comes out Aug. 19. Harper Smith/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Harper Smith/Courtesy of the artist
Bebel Gilberto's new album, Tudo, comes out Aug. 19.

Bebel Gilberto's new album, Tudo, comes out Aug. 19.

Harper Smith/Courtesy of the artist

Audio for First Listens is no longer available after the album is released.

A soft, breezy summer record, Tudo befits Bebel Gilberto's status as a member of Brazilian musical royalty. The daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha, as well as the niece of the legendary Chico Buarque, she crafts a work that's light but never boring.

Gilberto has been performing since childhood, and has Brazilian music woven into her DNA. Where it lacks in innovation, Tudo compensates in immaculate execution; she just lets herself be, and it works. To start, focus on two tracks: "Tout Est Bleu," which simulates the sounds of a French disco that's been relocated in the clouds, and the soothing title track. Both strike the perfect Brazilian mix of chill and melancholy that's become Bebel Gilberto's specialty.

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