Cesaria Evora – Café Atlantico – BMG/ PurePleasure vinyl

Cesaria Evora – Café Atlantico – BMG/ PurePleasure PPAN 54012 – 180g vinyl (x2) (1999/2015) [1/20/15] 60 min. ****:

(vocals, 6- & 12-string guitar, cavaquinho and arrangements, slide guitar & bau: Cesaria Evora; background vocals: Luis Ramos: cavaquinho; background vocals: Jacinto Pereira; acoustic bass guitar & background vocals: Jose Paris; piano, background vocals (and arrangements on roma criola): Nando Andrade; drums: Calu; percussion: Tey Santos; tenor and soprano sax, percussion; vocals: Totinho Pandero (“carnaval de são vicente”) and bongo (“nho antone escaderode”): Silvano Michelino; kora (“desilusão dum amdjer”): Conde Djeli Moussa; accordion (on “terezinha”): Jacky Fourniret; background vocals: Valerie Belinga, Valerie Tribord, Marie-Paule Tribord, Toy Vieira, & Teofilo Chantre. Additional background vocals on “Carnaval de são vicente”: Fred, Armandine, Manuna, Nadine, John Nobre, Nedelise, Yolanda, Stephanie & Calu.))

I was first introduced to Cesaria by an audiophile friend who seemed to possess every disc recommended by Harry Pearson (of The Absolute Sound).  The music was always quite varied, well-recorded, and in the case of this particular disc, enjoyable to listen to as well.  Although Latin jazz has seen moderately popularity over the years, Evora is more of a Latin folk singer.  With this record she borrows from Cuban and Brazilian music with an interesting blend of tempo and style.  As is the case on her other records, Cesaria’s voice is rich and beautiful and a pleasure unto its own.  This disc, like the album Cabo Verde before it, charted all the way up in the top five records on the U.S. world music charts.

With the growing use of music streaming services I’d like the think the audience for world music is increasing and there will be more exposure to new music like Evora makes.  Café Atlantico starts off slow and mellow and picks up the pace from there.  There are some sad, sweet tunes mixed in with playful jaunts through rhythm and melody.  The last tune of side four offers the sound of the accordion that is somewhat reminiscent of the music on the Amelie soundtrack—I just happened to have watched the film again recently.   This record is great for an active or passive listening session and although the music will be unfamiliar to most, it is a great way to get a taste for some contemporary Latin music.


Side 1: flor din ha esperanca; vaquinha mansa; amor di mundo;
Side 2: paraiso di altantico; sorte; arnaval de sao Vicente; desilusao dum amdjer
Side 3: nho antone escaderode; beijo de longe; roma criola
Side 4: perseguida; maria Elena; cabo verde manda mantenha; terezinha

—Brian Bloom

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