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Nancy VieiraNo Amá
No Amá is the fourth album from Cape-Verdean artist Nancy Vieira, a new arrival on the Lusafrica label. It opens with Maylen, a very beautiful song written by Mario Lucio - poet, musician, historian of African Creole culture and current minister of culture in the government led by José Maria Pereira Neves. Two things immediately strike us. The first is Nancy’s perfectly controlled, remarkably precise, highly distinctive voice, which has brought the young singer critical acclaim as “the finest voice in Cape Verde” among the new generation. The second is the wealth of musical styles that unfold against a background of meticulous classicism. Mario Lucio, who wrote two of the other tracks (Nhara Santiago, Trubuco), is a great musical traveller. His last album, Kreol (Lusafrica), sails from Dakar to Rio de Janeiro, calling at Lisbon and Fort-de-France. Nancy Vieira is something of a globetrotter too. Her forebears came from the island of Boa Vista with its Saharan sands, she grew up on the African Santiago and the nomadic São Vicente, and launched her musical career in Lisbon, capital of fado and pop. Naturally, the singer with her direct, open gaze is very much at home in the world of international Portuguese-speaking culture. The album is enriched by a rare combination of characteristic instruments - the cavaquinho (Brazil, Cape Verde) and Portuguese guitar (rarely played outside Portugal). Led by pianist Nando Andrade - Cesaria Evora’s stage and studio companion - a band of joyous melancholics (Voginha and Cesar Lima on guitar, Samu on the cavaquinho, Tey Gonçalves on percussion) steer No Amá on its subtle course.