Cesária Évora — São Vicente di Longe
(Windham Hill 01934 11590-2, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-12-01
Cape Verde has a long and varied tradition of popular music, and Cesária Évora is one of the shining stars, garnering a lot of attention in the American press in the last few years. There is nothing particularly innovative about the music on this disc, but between Evora’s beautiful and distinctive voice and the instinctive mood that this music can evoke, I’m quite content to let someone else do the innovating. Acoustic guitars are ever-present, and horns provide punctuation and counterpoint for the lazy melodies. Strings show up on may tracks, lushly filling out the sound, sometimes a little overdone. Percussion is relatively minimal on many of the tracks – this is not really music for dancing in the streets at Carnaval, but music for sunny days lying on a beach, or hours spent in cafés soaking up the atmosphere. Évora’s voice is the firm focus. She has a fairly low range, often sounding almost like a man, a perfect vibrato (subtle and not overbearing), and a sincere, romantic delivery that makes every song sound like a paean to lost love, at least to a non-Portuguese-speaker who doesn’t read the translations in the booklet. I have to admit a slight preference to the more upbeat songs over the slower ones, but it’s all wonderful, and a good place to start if you’re interested about Brazil’s non-progressive music.
Related artist(s): Cesária Évora
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more