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Cesaria Evora

Sao Vicente

 

São Vicente di longe, Cesaria Evora's 8th studio album, was recorded in Paris, Havana and Rio de Janeiro. It required almost sixty musicians, arrangers and sound engineers and demanded resources and an administrative capacity that bore absolutely no relation to the singer's working conditions when she began to make records. Yet this comfortable working environment in no way dulled the sensitivity that the artist – one of the most inspiring of our times – has long brought to bear when she sings of affections common to all hearts and minds. The honours and money that she has found today seem to have turned up at her door like unexpected guests, and although she has welcomed them, she jealously guards her right not to allow them to enter certain rooms in her vast, inner palace. Listening to her voice, we still follow – and will always follow – the story of a life spent trapped in the bars of Mindelo, performing for sailors on shore leave, facing the affronts of the local bourgeoisie who could not forgive her her freedom and overcoming the suffering left by love when it fled her bed. In her voice, we will always hear the only greatness, the sole nobility to which this woman could lay claim: the dignity of feeling. Although her last album, Café Atlantico, sold more than 300,000 copies in France, and despite the fact that she has more or less unintentionally joined the select ranks of the world's most widely-acclaimed artists, the extraordinary thing about Cesaria is that she has saved herself by preserving the delicacy in which she clothes her expression of infinitely generous humanity. It is because she can be no-one else that Cesaria Evora's singing is one of those truths that never fade.

 

São Vicente di Longe, a beautiful, languid morna written by Lela de Maninha, opens the album and provides its title. In a few words, it sums up an obvious fact: the further Cesaria travels from her beloved Cape Verde, the harder her mind and voice work to recover its musical essence, for the "barefoot diva" has become an intercontinental traveller, a tireless globetrotter taking planes as other do buses, childishly impatient to discover new cities and countries.

 

This nomadic existence found late in life made Café Atlantico a first record of cultural encounters, with Cape Verde, Brazil and Cuba dancing together to celebrate their timeless oceanic bonds. São Vicente di Longe (São Vicente – Cesaria's native island – seen from a distance) pushes this carefree musical exploration to a point where both in its concept and the different contributions it has engendered, it invents a form of Creole cosmopolitanism where the songs of some and the sensitivity of others dissolve into perpetually shimmering sound.

 

Each of the 15 tracks develops its own specificity, adding an indefinable supplement of charm and originality to the various traditions and memories present. The coladera Esperança Irisada is backed by Cuban batas percussion. On Ponta de Fi, which marks Cesaria's songwriting debut, the Cape Verde cavaquinho is replaced by Cuban tres. The bolero-danzon Linda Mimosa, laced with flowering, old-fashioned tenderness from the Orquesta Aragon band, is a blend of Hispanic and Cape Verdean culture. Regresso, inspired by a poem by Amilcar Cabral, a leading figure in the independence struggle of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, and made famous in Brazil by the singer Alcione, elegantly revives the Cesaria - Caetano Veloso partnership (which already featured prominently on the Red Hot & Rio compilation). And the Brazilian standard Negue, long part of the repertoire of Maria Bethania, Veloso's sister, is enriched by Chucho Valdés' unique, elegiac harmonic lines.

 

From needle to thread and cousinhood to blood relationship, the album develops, naturally following the winding paths that voluptuously feed its hopes, pains and dreams. Cello and string arrangements from the great Jaques Morelenbaum (partner of Antonio Carlos Jobim) on Pedro Guerra's Tiempo y Silencio, the angelic choirs of Simentera on Mario Lucio's Dor di Amor and the strange combination of morna and gospel on Teofilo Chantre's Bondade e Maldade  are all artistic choices that make São Vicente di Longe both a familiar and an unexpected place.

 

Although she is "in the West", Cesaria still relies on her memories, hungrily drawing on the immense treasure bestowed on her by her favourite writers: Manuel de Novas, B. Leza and Ti Goy. Ti Goy is responsible for the mischievous Nutridinha that spreads the soft, warm sand of a slightly zouked-up coladera under the feet of dancers, while Teofilo Chantre's Crepuscular Solidão gives the listener time to embrace the perfect sadness of a morna whose singular power can be measured in its happy ability to express distress by making it both vague and precise, impersonal and highly intimate. Cesaria has raised this art of inner "swell" (that is so strongly linked to the sea from which it draws its being and so much an integral part of the strange destiny of Cape Verde and the very existence of the singer) to the level of the sublime. On this new album, she escapes into laughter, light-heartedness and contentment only to intensify the emotion when she falls back into the arms of its glorious melancholy.

Other albums by same artist

Mãe Carinhosa

Mãe Carinhosa
15.00 €

Miss Perfumado

MISS PERFUMADO - 20th Anniversary Edition
16.00 €

Nha Sentimento

Nha Sentimento - Cesaria Evora 2009 - CD, ALBUM VPC, world music, lusafrica
15.00 €

Radio mindelo

Radio mindelo - Cesaria Evora 2008 - World music album, lusafrica
12.00 €

Rogamar

Cesaria Evora, artist cap-vert, world music, lusafrica
15.00 €

Voz d'amor

Cesaria Evora, world music, lusafrica
15.00 €

Mar Azul

Mar azul - Cesaria Evora - CD, albums world music VPC, lusafrica
15.00 €

Café Atlantico

Café Atlantico - Césaria Evora - world music albums - lusafrica
15.00 €

Best of

Besto of - Cesaria Evora - CD, world music albums- lusafrica
15.00 €

Césaria

Césaria - Césaria Evora - CD, World music albums, lusafrica
15.00 €

Miss Perfumado

Miss perfumado - Cesaria Evora - CD, albums world music VPC, lusafrica
15.00 €

Cabo verde

Cabo verde - Césaria Evora - CD, Album, world music, lusafrica
15.00 €

Sodade, o melhor

15.00 €

Distino di belita

Distino di belita - Césaria Evora - CD, world music album
12.00 €

Club sodade

Club sodade - Cesaria Evora - CD, albums world music VPC, lusafrica
15.00 €
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