All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Gaby Moreno + Planet Hemp: New York, July 20, 2013

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Gaby Moreno + Planet Hemp
Brazil Summerfest at Central Park Summerstage
New York, NY
July 20, 2013

On her New York debut, Belem, Brazil-born singer Gaby Moreno brought a microcosm of Brazilian music to the stage, covering everything from rock and pop to carnaval music—even brega, a pop sub- genre often seen as aimed to lower classes. Backed by a simple four- piece band (bass, guitar, drums and keys), the singer kicked off with some original material but, like other lesser-known Brazilian artists that have appeared during Summerstage's 2013 season, she played a lot of material that the audience would be familiar with, including songs by Ivete Sangalo and Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Her musical mix mostly worked but backfired at times. While Wando's "Fogo e Paixão" had most of the audience singing and dancing along (the song was performed earlier in the season by singer Preta Gil), the inclusion of Kaoma's "Lambada" and an ultra-simplified take on "Waters of March" with a "baile funk" arrangement were not too well- received.

Moreno's strength lay on the Carnaval-themed material, and she relied heavily on sambas from Daniela Mercury, Caetano Veloso and Gonzaguinha. The audience cheered and danced to every tune, and she left the stage after about one hour with great applause.

After a brief break that featured the talents of New York-based DJ Greg Caz, headliners Planet Hemp took to the stage. The set was preceded by a short Portuguese-language video that argued in favor of the legalization of marijuana in Brazil (the band members have been longtime activists for the cause), and then the group (led by vocalist Marcelo D2) opened with their best-known hit "Legalize Já," a tune whose lyrics brought to mind Peter Tosh's "Legalize It," except that Planet Hemp's tune is mostly inspired by Brazilian hip hop grooves.

The band kept things in an up-tempo mode going through its entire catalogue, which spans from 1994's Usuario to 2001's MTV Ao Vivo (both on Sony Music Brasil). The group also played some unreleased material during the set, but basically it focused on the hits. Halfway through the set, special guest Seu Jorge (who was doing a residence at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club that week) joined the band, initially doing improvised solos during one tune and joining co- lead vocalist BNegao on backing vocals.

This was a great opportunity to check out a more alternative side of Brazilian popular music than usually seen stateside. Clara Moreno is clearly a diamond in the rough that is sure to develop with time. On the other hand, it was good to see that, in spite of a 10-year layoff, Planet Hemp still sounds as energetic as it did almost two decades ago.


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read 2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit Live Reviews
2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall 2018 Live Reviews
Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews
Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Cologne Open 2018 Live Reviews
Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Jon Faddis at The Wheel Live Reviews
Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre Live Reviews
Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre
by Eric Thiessen
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2" Live Reviews Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Arturo Sandoval at the Blue Note" Live Reviews Arturo Sandoval at the Blue Note
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland" Live Reviews Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017