You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Milton Nascimento; Zap Mama

Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn't need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds.

With:
Performers: Milton Nascimento and seven-piece band; Zap Mama (Marie Daulme, Marie Alphonso Gonsalves, Sallie Nyolo , Sabine Kapongo, Sylvie Nawasadio). Reviewed June 11, 1994.

Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds.

Nascimento’s following here goes back to 1969 with the release of his brilliant, haunting American debut LP, “Courage” (A&M). Since then, Nascimento became a cosmopolitan, assimilating rock influences while digging deeper into the Brazilian interior for rhythms, timbres and social issues such as preserving the rain forests. His recent albums, including the February release “Angelus” (Warner Bros.), have gravitated back toward Brazil, assisted by a galaxy of guests like Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter, James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Jon Anderson and Pat Metheny.

None of these luminaries turned up onstage Saturday (Shorter was in the audience but did not perform), yet Nascimento’s quiet charisma and solid, punching Brazilian backup band easily carried the evening. It was a typical Nascimento performance — a spare yet dramatic intro, the headliner with his trademark cap, riveted to his stool behind his guitar, waving his arms expressively like a fighter and a cheerleader. His voice remains a virile, sustaining life force, communicating even to those who do not understand Portuguese — and frequently, he doesn’t even need words, getting the message through with his patented, soaring, wordless vocalises.

Much recent material was spotlighted, often in tougher, more rock-leaning arrangements than those heard on the albums, meandering serpent-like through complex changes of texture, harmony and pace. The highlight for this unreconstructed Nascimento follower was a revisit to “Vera Cruz,” one of his earliest, most striking songs, still riding comfortably on a flying carpet of tense Brazilian rhythm. And the backup band ably handled the English counter-lyrics on James Taylor’s “Only a Dream in Rio” from the new album.

The sometimes antic all-female quintet Zap Mama opened the evening with a bracing blast of rhythmic, hypnotic, a cappella vocals.

Milton Nascimento; Zap Mama

(Wiltern Theater, 2,300 seats, $ 42.50 top)

Production: Presented by Avalon Attractions.

Cast: Performers: Milton Nascimento and seven-piece band; Zap Mama (Marie Daulme, Marie Alphonso Gonsalves, Sallie Nyolo , Sabine Kapongo, Sylvie Nawasadio). Reviewed June 11, 1994.

More Legit

  • Kenya Barris and Pharrell Williams

    Kenya Barris, Pharrell Williams to Collaborate on Juneteenth Stage Musical

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • BD Wong

    Stagecraft Podcast: BD Wong Talks Basketball in Beijing, Dinosaurs and Batman

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • Michael Jackson Musical Coming to Broadway

    Michael Jackson Musical Coming to Broadway in 2020

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage

    Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage to Calm His 'Henry IV' Audience

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • Donald Trump, Robert De Niro

    Trump Punches Back at Robert De Niro: 'A Very Low IQ Individual'

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • Matt Bomer Andrew Rannells

    Stagecraft Podcast: Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells on Broadway's 'Boys in the Band'

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

  • Bruce Springsteen72nd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards: Everything You Didn't See on TV

    Brazilian singer/songwriter Milton Nascimento didn’t need any of his celebrated American guest collaborators to help him sell out the Wiltern Theater Saturday night; his local audience remains deep and utterly devoted. And he won them over again with another heady dose of his unclassifiable blend of Brazilian and North American sounds. Nascimento’s following here goes […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content