Terra (World Connection)
After being pivotal in the recent fado revival - a blues-like genre native to Portugese capital Lisbon - with her honest and impassioned interpretations, Mozambique-born songstress Mariza dares to take the genre into a new direction by adding different instruments and influences on Terra. Continuing her love affair with Brazil - two previous CDs were produced by Caetano Veloso collaborator and composer Jacques Morelembaum - here she welcomes pianist Ivan Lins to perform on his jazz-inflected "As Guitarras" and the English-language "Smile," where Mariza reveals a softer side seldom heard from fado singers.
Mariza does not, however, abandon her roots. On "Ja Me Deixou," she sings of the joy of returning to her beloved Alfama - the Lisbon neighborhood where fado was born - after a long time away. She shares the spotlight with Cape Verdean singer Tito Paris on "Beijo de Saudade," a loving tribute to Paris' native island. On "Frontiera," Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes (Irakere) adds a Latin-jazzy feel to lyrics extolling the pride the Portuguese take in their small nation. "Tasco da Mouraria" is another departure - gone are the usual guitars, replaced by piano, bass, drums and trumpeter Carlos Sarduy's subtle but highly effective riffs.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
If you haven't yet discovered Mariza - who toured the States, including Houston, last year and is rumored to be doing so again in 2009 - do take the time to listen to Terra. It even comes with liner notes and lyrics translated into English, Spanish and French, effectively solving any language-barrier problem. - Ernest Barteldes