373

Titina: Cruel Destino

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Titina: Cruel Destino For twenty years, Cape Verdean music has been personified internationally by just one singer, the magnificent Cesaria Evora—the "barefoot diva," so-called following her decision always to perform shoeless, in solidarity with the impoverished Cape Verdeans who make up the bulk of her native audience. The 67-year old Evora's name is now practically synonymous with Cape Verde's bittersweet morna style, aka saudade Cabo-Verdiana (literally, "Cape Verdean nostalgic yearning").



At last, the curtain is rising on other stars-in-waiting. In 2007, Mayra Andrade debuted with the gorgeous Navega (Sterns Music, 2007), in which the 23-year old mixed morna with sunnier tracks owing more to Brazilian samba and bossa nova.



And now Evora and Andrade have been joined by Evora's close contemporary Titina (Albertina Rodrigues Almeida), who has returned to the studios after an absence of fifteen years—disenchanted with the music business, Titina quit recording right after releasing her debut album, Titina Canta B.Leza (Sel, 1993), basing herself in Lisbon, Portugal and making intermittent appearances at world music festivals.



On her comeback album, the Lisbon-recorded Cruel Destino, a 10-track collection of classic morna material, Titina starts up right where she left off in 1993, with three more songs written by the seminal post-war Cape Verdean poet and composer B.Leza, plus another seven written by members of his circle.



Titina is accompanied by an authentic morna line-up featuring guitars—both Portugese and Brazilian—violins, clarinet and percussion, given beguiling salon arrangements by Humberto Ramos, who also produces and plays acoustic piano.



The music—poignant melodies sung over guitar and violin counterpoints and subtle but insistent, slow-to-mid tempo, courtly dance rhythms—could be described as heavenly, if heaven was flecked with sadness and loneliness. Cape Verde's role as an international shipping centre went into terminal decline following the Second World War, and many people were forced to emigrate in order to support their families. Lovers' partings inspired many classic morna songs.



Two tracks—"A Mim Na Melo Di Mar" (Me In The Middle Of The Sea) and "Sala Travda" (Tight Skirt)—are more up-tempo and (Portugese lyrics aside) sound more lighthearted. But even at its most mournfully intense, the best morna, like the best blues or the best tango, somehow strengthens the resolve of the listener. Cruel Destino, despite its title, will raise the spirits rather than depress them. A deep and beautiful album.


Track Listing: Alo Alo Sao Vicente; Separaco; Catatau; Oriuntina; Paixao Natural; A Mim Na Meio Di Mar; Deguosto Profundo; Saia Travada; Madrugada Linda; Cruel Destino.

Personnel: Titina: vocals; Bau: 12-string guitar; Djon Luz: cavaquinho; Humberto Ramos: piano; Costa Neto: bass; Vaiss: guitar (1-3, 6, 8); Atito: guitar (4, 5, 7, 9, 10); Miroca: percussion; To Barbosa: violin; Paulo Viana: violin; Antonio Figueiredo: violin; D.Salome: clarinet; Vaiss: backing vocals; Costa Neto: backing vocals; Djon Luz: backing vocals; Mrioca: backing vocals.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Astral Music | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "The Way You Say It" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Say It
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Alive Out There" CD/LP/Track Review Alive Out There
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!