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Terra & Cretcheu

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Album Review

Teofilo Chantre sings to his native Cape Verde on Terra & Cretcheu, translated as "Land and My Sweetheart." His mellifluous voice floats over and through the melodic and rhythmic mix of Cape Verdean coladeira, Brazilian samba, and mambo. He has written all the words and music for this album except for one track. The production of the album was in the hands of the very able Paulino Vieira, a mainstay of the Cape Verdean music scene. Terra & Cretcheu keep the tempos changing from coladeiras, a Cape Verdean dance rhythm, to Brazilian sambas to mornas, a slow bluesy Cape Verdean musical form similar to Portuguese Fado. What is refreshing about Teofilo Chantre's albums is that they do not fall prey to what is referred to as "Cabo Zouk," a somewhat mercenary flattery of the music of Guadeloupe and Martinique. He relies much more on musicality and the rhythms of Cape Verde and its relatives for his inspiration. The musicianship of everyone on the album is superb, making for enjoyable listening time and again. The percussion throughout the album pulses and bubbles underneath the basslines and vocals. Standout tracks include "So Ma Bo," "Segredo E Morabeza," the Bahian-influenced "Romance Na Rebera," "Condicao Humana," and "Isis Criola." Recommended.


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Cape Verdean guitarist, songwriter, and singer Teofilo Chantre was introduced to world music audiences via his compositions, many of which were popularized by the great Césaria Évora. Later in his career Chantre used that momentum and recognition to launch his career as a performer. Teofilo Chantre was born in 1964 on the island of Sao Nicolau, later moving to São Vicente. He was surrounded by music and arts early on, brought up by a father who was a renowned lyricist in Cape Verde's bustling arts...
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Terra & Cretcheu, Teofilo Chantre
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