O Sol De Oslo
Blue Jackel Entertainment
Pop the new Gilberto Gil album, O Sol De Oslo (Blue Jackel 5031; 51:09) in the disc player, and you get a brief, pleasant what's-wrong-with-this-picture sensation. Trilok Gurtu kicks things off with his tabla rhythms, adding to a sense of cultural displacement. Do India and Brazil get along, musically? It's not a connection we naturally make, but it works like a charm here, which shouldn't come as a huge surprise. Since he was mixing global ingredients as part of the tropicalismo movement in the '60s, Gil has surfed the world while digging deep into Brazilian roots, which aptly describes his latest, one of the best Gil projects in years. For this one, he collaborates with the intriguing Brazilian singer Marlui Miranda, as well as Norwegian keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft and accordionist Toninho Ferragutti, a key figure in the ensemble, while Gurtu rumbles below with his adapted Indian drum kit. Covering material that includes Brazilian folk tunes, originals by Gil and Miranda, and a piece by Moacir Santos, the album is a happy mixed marriage, experimental and sweet at the same time.