Mayra Andrade: Storia Storia (2009)
Andrade, of course, didn't really come out of nowhere. She and her music came out of Cuba, where she was born to Cape Verdean parents; Angola, Senegal and Germany, where she was brought up; and Paris, where she had been living since 2003. The mix of cultures was further enriched by a hefty dose of samba, reflecting the historic "trade winds" relationship between Brazil and Cape Verde, both once Portuguese colonies.
With her second album, Storia Storia, Andrade maintains the same eclectic groove that she introduced on Navega, with balmy strings and cool horn arrangements raising the Brazilian quotient. She's accompanied by the same core trio of musiciansCape Verdean multi-instrumentalist Kim Alves, Cameroonian bassist Etienne M'Bappe, and Brazilian percussionist Ze Luis Nascimentoand another small host of guest musicians scattered around the 13 tracks (cellists, flautists, reed and brass players, drummers and percussionists, guitarists, pianists, accordionists and kora players).
and tres master Pancho Amat bring Cuba to fore on "Lembransa." And cellist Jaques Morelenbaum's offers the occasional, soulful echo of Evora.
Cape Verdean, Brazilian and African rhythmic retentions add a depth to Andrade's unapologetically pretty music, felt in cross-rhythms and beat-shifting meter changes. Sometimes, as in Alves' "Nha Domaxa," these are central to the arrangement; mostly they're more subtle. But they're always present. Another flavor is provided by modern French chanson, reflected in the melody and the use of accordion on "Mon Carrousel." Pianist Roberto Fonseca
A delightful album, elegant and vibrant in equal measure.
Track Listing: Storia Storia; Tchapu Na Bandera; Seu; Juana; Konsiensia; Odjus Fitchadu; Nha Domaxa; Mon Carrousel; Badiu Si; Morena Menina Linda; Palavra; Turbulensa; Lembransa.
Personnel: Mayra Andrade: vocal, percussion; Kim Alves: guitars, cavaquino, concertina, piano, percussion; Etienne M'Bappe: double bass, electric bass; Ze Luis Nascimento: djembe, darbouka, queixada, congas, pandeiro, shakers, agogo, berimbacu, vibraslap, wood block, cajon, cymbal, log drum, timbale; Zeze N'Gambi: drums (1, 4, 5, 9, 12); Djeli Moussa Diawara: kora, vocal (1); Altair Martins: flugelhorn (1), trumpet (9); Derceu Lelle: flute (1); Aidvas Ayres: trombone (1); Ismael Oliveira: trumpet (1); Nicolas Genest: flugelhorn (2); Marcos Suzano: pandeiro, brushes, percussion (2); Jaques Morelenbaum: cello (2, 5, 10); Luis Nascimento: timbaus, cabassa, cowbell, reco-reco, surdo, queixada, xereque, tama, reco bell (3, 6); Chrispin Jr: percussion (3); Elton Jackson: percussion (3); Peu Meurray: timbaus, bacurinhas, rubber hose (3); Swami Jr: seven-string guitar (4); Andre Mehmari: piano (4, 11); Reginaldo: trumpet (6, 7); Kito Siqueira: tenor saxophone (6, 7); Celina Da Piedade: accordion (8); Thiago Tavares: bass clarinet (9); Nitu Lima: guitar (12); Roberto Fonseca: piano (13); Pancho Amat: tres (13); string ensemble.
Record Label: Sterns Music