Gal Costa – Plural 1983
Held in very high regard in Brazilian music circles, Gal Costa has been impressively consistent over the years. And the charismatic singer was in excellent form when she greeted the 1990s with Plural. Though Costa isn’t a jazz singer per se, she uses jazz influence to her advantage on caressing versions of the standards “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “Begin the Beguine” (which was a major hit for Artie Shaw during the swing era). Costa sings mostly in Portuguese, but switches to English for those standards. While they favor the type of relaxed introspection one expects from bossa nova, Costa is much more exuberant and upbeat on the reggae-influenced “Cabelo,” the Caribbean-minded “Zanzando,” and the percussive “Salvador Nao Inerte” (a fine example of the Bahian school of Brazilian pop). Plural demonstrates that the dedicated following she commands is well deserved.