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"Banda Larga Cordel" — Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil (born June 26, 1942), is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both for his musical innovation and his political commitment. Since 2003, he has been serving as his country's Minister of Culture in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He is also a passionate advocate of the culture of "new media."

Given his decade long passion for the new technologies, Gilberto Gil dives in head first in the vertiginous waters of the digital revolution on his latest record, "Banda Larga Cordel (Broad Band Twine)." Wanting his music to employ all new media, including mobile telephony, samples, ringtones, plus encouraging audiences in his current U.S. tour to record and download his shows, "Banda Larga Cordel," sees the reaffirmation and irreversible enrollment of the artist in the new rules of the universe of bits and bytes, hugging all its risks and challenges.

Gil also continues his exploration of Caribbean-styled rhythms here -- working in a sunny space that's somewhat different from his earlier work, especially some of his more electric or intimate sets of a decade ago. The style here is one that suits Gil's aging vocals well -- as his presentation of the lyrics nicely contrasts some of the brighter sounds from the instrumentation -- music that's possibly a bit sweeter and sunnier overall, leaving Gilberto in a position to provide the real depth and soul of the record. Production is by Liminha. A wonderful summer record to swing and sway the warm days away. — Mark R. Bacon