Ana Moura is a Portuguese Fado singer; “Fado” is a Portuguese traditional form of song that has a somewhat mournful quality to the songs that often are about the sea or problems faced by the poor people of Portugal. The songs apparently are frequently built around the word “saudade,” a Portuguese word that has no English translation, but somewhat describes the sentiment of “longing for the unattainable.” There are two centers of Fado tradition in Portugal; the Portuguese capitol of Lisbon and the university city of Coimbra. In Lisbon, you applaud the Fado singer by clapping your hands; in Coimbra, you cough loudly, as though clearing your throat! Regardless, the folk-like quality of this music is irresistible, and Ana Moura and her supporting musicians offer compelling presentations of songs that deal with love and loss, and of course, the sea.
Ana Moura’s smoky-sweet voice is the perfect vehicle for these songs. Although many of the songs elicit a great sadness, there are uplifting moments throughout this excellent disc. The accompaniment, while sparse, is superb – you really get the feeling that these players are masters of this genre. Sonically, every track on this disc sparkles with life; it offers reference sound quality for Red Book CD, and offers a superb sonic representation of Ana Moura’s voice and her accompanists captured in a very real acoustic. When I play this disc, everyone asks who she is, and there is frequent clapping and coughing! Very highly recommended!
TrackList: The Cowrie Shells; And We Came Born From The Sea; The Voice That Tells Our Story; Southern Waters; Fado of Search; Pink Rose; First Time; It Wasn’t Me; Map Of The Heart; Waits For You When You Arrive; Fado Of Uncertain Hours; Until The End Of The End; Vague, In The Wild Blue Loose; Old Angel; Alone With The Night.
– Tom Gibbs