On a night of music boasting seductive imagery of the first order, the stately Brazilian diva Gal Costa served a finely sculptured set of bossa beauties associated with her self-proclaimed guru, Joao Gilberto, and timeless classics from the pen of Antonio Carlos Jobim. She was returning to the Blue Note to celebrate not only the release of her new DRG CD, “Live at the Blue Note,” recorded last spring, but also the 25th anniversary of the Gotham jazz venue.
Costa, with a dark grandeur in her delivery, boasts a voice textured with silk and honey. Sung in native Portuguese, the lady has an intrinsic gift for caressing a melody and a knack for staying within herself with a kind of whispery grace.
Accustomed to larger audiences, Costa likened singing in the club to performing in a living room. Set, which included “Desafindo,” “Triste,” “Wave” and “Corcovado,” transported the listener back to the early 1960s when bossa nova imbued jazz with a much needed commercial boost; the intoxicating rapture of “The Girl From Ipanema” — Costa’s closer that prompted an audience sing-along — could not be denied.
There exists a fine tuned empathy between the singer and her musicians, most notably realized in the guitar of Marcus Teixeira who along with bassist Adriano Giffoni lent a bracing lyrical supportive spin to the hour.