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JOÃO GILBERTO in Madrid (07/19/1985) │ Collective hypnotism

I perfectly remember the endless hour and a half of waiting, the great general anger of the public that filled the venue. An anger mixed with a certain nervousness and anxiety, given the possibility of a possible cancellation of the long-awaited Concert.

An absolute discomfort that led to a monumental scandal with boos, whistles and insults when João Gilberto appeared (finally) on stage accompanied only by his " violão "…

In contrast to all this great tumult and initial confusion, the absolute and hypnotic silence after the first two songs is also etched in my memory.

That "eccentric" Brazilian who played Bossa Nova , internationally recognized as the symbol of that music that we were passionate about and that we had heard over and over again on imported vinyl, was there just a few meters from us.

For the first time in Madrid and Spain, João Gilberto Prado Pereira de Oliveira appeared.

João Gilberto in Madrid (07/19/1985) │ ©Kuto
João Gilberto in Madrid (07/19/1985) │ ©Kuto

João Gilberto , in the middle of the stifling heat of the Madrid summer, wore a social and thick cloth jacket with brown checks combined with beige. To harmonize his "coherent" clothing, he wore simple white canvas sneakers.

To add to his perfect "look" as a neighborhood high school Art History teacher, there were those aesthetically strange and huge glasses that sequentially fell off his face in each song.

In the midst of all that hostile, poisoned and rarefied atmosphere, João was literally and immensely alone. His image in the center of that occasional and sober stage was like the title of that far-west movie "Only in the face of danger"…!

He seemed calm, he knew the power of his two secret weapons: His very refined voice and the magical sound of his inseparable "violão" (classical guitar).

If we add to these natural contributions his fantastic repertoire, it makes him invincible...!

João Gilberto in Madrid │ Collective hypnotism
João Gilberto in Madrid │ Collective hypnotism

Very focused on what he was doing, in the midst of the reproaches, João began playing the song " Tim Tim by Tim Tim", continuing with one of the composer Dorival Caymmi's masterpieces " Você já foi à Bahia ...?"

With " Rosa Morena ", the audience was already hypnotized...

The silence was so great that you could even hear João 's foot accompanying the rhythm and balancing the syncopated singing.

João Gilberto filled the air of Madrid with his whispering voice and the magic of his dissonant chords on time and off-time, in a perfect " balanço" rhythm .

That night, João gave us, among other songs, " Tim Tim for Tim Tim" , " Você já foi à Bahía "...? " Rosa Morena" , " Sem Compromiso" , " Wave ", " Portrait em Branco e Preto" , " Desafinado ", " Chega de Saudade" , " Garota de Ipanema" , " O Pato ", " Eclipse" (in Spanish) , " Menino do Rio " , " Adeus América ", " A Felicidade ", " Estate ", " Sandália de Prata ", " Doralice ", " Aquarela do Brasil " and what was undoubtedly the big surprise of the night, the amazing song " Pra que discuss com Madame" , a practically unknown old Samba that we heard for the first time that day.

During the Concert, we looked at each other with a certain surprise and complicity, as if wanting to confirm in our neighbor the emotion of the moment and the confirmation that we were witnessing a historic musical moment that night.

We were aware of João Gilberto's moment of plenitude.

From a distance and after more than 35 years, I can confirm that that special feeling that we experienced that day in the month of July in the military compound of the Central Courtyard of the Conde Duque of Madrid, was and is true.

We attend one of the biggest concerts and/or shows in our lives...!

Thanks to the archives of Radio Nacional de España │ Radio3, and to Carlos Galilea's program " When elephants dream of music" , we can listen to the entire Concert by João Gilberto in Madrid.

The sound quality of this Concert is simply impeccable.

João Gilberto in Madrid │ ► Part 1

In that Concert so full of anecdotes, it was a funny moment when at the end, with the entire audience engaged, asking for an " encore " and repeatedly shouting " another, another ...", João Gilberto, smiling slightly, answered:

- But..., you still put up with me ...? You guys still put up with me ...? Wonderful …!

Thus responding in clear irony to the public, for its hostile reception when he appeared on stage.

João Gilberto in Madrid │ ► Part 2

Also comment on another unusual anecdote and manifest irregularity, that caused by the Organization of the Madrid City Council in its programming of the Summers of the Village 1985, in its "Bossa Nova Nights" section. In the official program of said official organization broadcast in the press, radio, TV, etc., it had announced two unique days for Brazilian music, the following performances being originally planned for these two nights: July 19, 1985 │ Antônio Carlos Jobim & Banda Nova July 20, 1985 │ João Gilberto

And it happened that João Gilberto had just arrived from participating and recording the legendary double album and first " ao vivo " of his career at the 19th Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

At the same time, Antônio Carlos Jobim was coming from his first presentation in Spain, at the IX Vitória-Gasteiz Jazz Festival, sharing the "cartel do Brasil" with Gal Costa (07/17/1985).

João Gilberto and his entire team pressured the Madrid Organization to reverse the order of the dates of the Concerts. Given the demands and/or ultimatum of the artist and with the tickets sold out for both days, that same week the date was changed... And so it happened, that there were people who, at the same door of the Conde Duque, on the same day 19 thought they were going to attend Tom Jobim & Banda Nova, and by chance, they attended João Gilberto and vice versa... I still have the ticket saved, a simple orange piece of paper (type of ticket for the raffle) where you can check: 20 July 1985, João Gilberto .

Special thanks from Bossa Nova Clube to ©Kuto fromJazz Pictures , for the original contribution of its design and illustration by João Gilberto that accompanies this post.

Bossa Nova Clube 's first contact with this brilliant artist who signs his works as ©Kuto, was just a few weeks ago. Until then we were two perfect strangers who contacted each other virtually due to some comments I wrote on his blog in relation to a post that he coincidentally made beforehand about this same João Gilberto Concert in Madrid. We began the classic email exchange, where for more coincidences, we discovered that we were both located in the 1st row on the left. Without knowing it, we were sitting next to each other in those uncomfortable wooden folding chairs.

The entire photographic report was made at the time on stage, a circumstance that is hardly possible and/or operational in these times.

The camera used was a Canon AT-1 with a 135 m/m lens.

Mechanical analog camera with manual focus │ 35 m/m Kodak film in color ISO 400. ► As a personal memory, my request " ao vivo " to João Gilberto for the song " Doralice ", one of my favorites, is recorded in the recording of this Concert. always favorite songs, which he played a few seconds in a row...

That night of the "Villa Summers" was unrepeatable for me.

João Gilberto touched the souls of all the lucky ones who were able to live that musical experience. And that touch was forever.

João Gilberto, after this historic show, performed three more times in Spain: - In 1989, at the now-defunct Rockódromo de la Casa de Campo in Madrid, sharing the bill with João Bosco and Caetano Veloso. - Year 2000, at the Teatre Grec │ Montjuit in Barcelona. - Year 2003, at L'Auditori de Barcelona.

But these are other stories...

PS ► This post was originally published on www, on 09/30/2010

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