Voz d'Amor

by: Césaria Évora

Césaria Évora, Cape Verde's "barefoot diva," has perfected her native morna style, and with her deep, soft-burred tenor, has gained an international audience for her blues-steeped laments. Voz d'Amor features several mornas, but up-tempo coladeras, as well, most notably the striking "Velocidade," written by Luis Morais, the father of modern Cape Verdean music, which spotlights a vocal choir and a lively lyrical clarinet line. But slow-burning, sad songs are Évora's specialty, and there are several striking examples here, including a cover of "Beijo Roubado," first recorded by Brazilian singer Ângela Maria. The opening track, "Isolada," a morna written by Évora's uncle, the poet B. Leza, features mandolin by Hamilton de Holanda and is perfectly suited to Évora's warm, honey-tinged voice. The single most striking track is the beautiful lament "Marde Canal," a traditional Cape Verde melody with lyrics from Fernando Andrade about the beauty and treachery of the sea channel between Sao Vicente and Santo Anton. Évora's vocal here is sad, resigned, and wise, by turns. Voz d'Amor is another fine collection from a remarkable singer. ~ Steve Leggett

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