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Carol Saboya: Carolina

Mark Sullivan By

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Classic samba from enchanting Brazilian vocalist Carol Saboya and a first-rate band. It's a family affair, with her father, pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo in charge of piano and arrangements. He is working with his regular band, so the arrangements fit like a glove. The core repertoire is unimpeachable, with three songs by the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim (including "Passarim" and "A Felicidade"), two by the later master Djavan, and one each by Pixinguinha, Joao Bosco and Edu Lobo. Saboya is equally skilled at delivering lyrics and singing vocalise, which is especially evident in the fleet lines in the closing track, Edu Lobo's "Zanaibar" (which also features a strong solo from guitarist Leonardo Amuedo).

Of the two pop covers, Sting's "Fragile" is a clear fit with the program. The original had a samba feel, and Saboya and her musicians only had to interpret it their own way, which they do, making the song sound as if it had been written by a Brazilian (translating the lyrics into Portuguese might have completed the illusion, but they're sung in the original English). It features an especially effective flute solo from Marcelo Martins. The Beatles tune "Hello Goodbye" is a bit more problematic. Re-imagined as a bossa—which requires some metrical and harmonic changes—it never quite feels settled. Points for originality, and the problem may be more over-familiarity with the original than the changes made to it in this arrangement.

Simply a delightful album, easily recommended to Brazilian music fans. This was my first encounter with Saboya, and I will certainly be on the lookout for more of her work.

Track Listing: Passarim; 1X0 (One to Zero); Senhoras do Amazonas; Hello, Goodbye; Avião; Fragile; A felicidade; Olha, Maria; Faltando um pedaço; Zanzibar.

Personnel: Carol Saboya: vocal; Antonio Adolfo: piano; Marcelo Martins: flute, alto flute and soprano sax; Leo Amuedo: guitars; Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums; Andre Siqueira and Rafael Barata: percussion; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic guitar (9).

Title: Carolina | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: AAM Music

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