Comparisons are odious, even in the most mundane circumstances, but there is a recording of a rare performance of Elis Regina's Saudades Do Brasil, filmed and recorded in 1980, and directed by the great Cesar Carmago Mariano, that reverberates with energy, even when it is not playing. The mere recollection of it can make the heart dance interminably. Quando O Céu Clarear, by the extraordinary paulista and sambanista Fabiana Cozza, bustles with the same level of energy. Cozza's wholesome contralto voice most resembles great vocalists such as Clara Nunesand sometimes even Maria Bethwhen she digs deep and vocalizes in a register down low, on the brink of a female tenor.
Cozza is expressive and pliable. She can give a commanding performance when the music conjures almost shamanistic power ,as she does in the most Afro-Brazilian charts on this album, "Xangô Te Xinga," "Ponto de Nanã," and her devastatingly beautiful performance of Baden Powell and Vinicius De Moraes' classic, "Canto de Ossanha." But Cozza is versatile, seductive, and a changeling, like the best vocal practitioners from Brazil. Her duets with the incomparable Dona Ivone Lara"Doces Recordações," and Lara's mellow composition, "Tendência"find Cozza in a much restrained, sensuous state of mind. She can also be most beguiling, and more than apt to weave a magical spell rooted in the Afro nature of her being as she is to charm in a European sense of bewitching an audience. Either way, she is one of the most attractive and riveting singers to come out of Brazil singing sambas and re-imagining other folk fare.
Like the Elis set of thirty years ago, in which Carmago Mariano had a hand in the magnificent orchestrations, this time the torch passes to Marcos Paiva, who plays bass and is responsible for the musical direction. Paiva has created a sensation with his arrangements of the special variety of percussion instrumentation. But more than that, Paiva has recreated music for a much larger canvas than for which it was originally imagined. Working with a bonafide star such as Fabiana Cozza made it all the easier. However, Paiva must share the spotlight for his extraordinary work in creating the earthy textures and colors that mark this album as one of the most powerful and unique to come out of Brazil in recent times.
Track Listing: Incensa; Mestre-Sala; Doces Recordações; Parte; Novo Viver; Quando O Céu Clarear; Saudação para Iemanjá Agradecer e Abraçar; Xangô Te Xinga; Não Sai de Mim; Tendência; Pela Sombra; Ponto de Nanã Canto de Ossanha; Nação.
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