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Mama Mundi

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Album Review

In the scarce room left by industry for genuine Brazilian expression, a new generation of sensitive artists (Lenine, Zeca Baleiro) tries to be sincere with the rich national culture and to create something more than disposable trends. For his fourth CD, Mama Mundi, Chico César sings about the humble life of poor Brazilians and recovering indigenous rhythms, featuring a beautiful landscape of Brazilian sounds with the minimum interference possible from commercialism. This is represented by the recurrent references to "world," with its homogenizing tendency, as in the bagpipes in "4h14 ou 10 p/3"; in the sporadic use of Brazilian tradition as an exotic spice, as in the title track, "Aquidauana,''" "Dança,''" and the final shouting in the techno-reggae "Folclore''"; and by occasional sampling, as with the Istanbul streets and Turkish muezzin in the coco "Aquidauana." His poetry is evolving and will reach maturity when he forgets his puns and tongue twisters, but he's already quite capable of tackling terrible social issues with serenity. "Dança do Papangu" is a humorous criticism of the opportunism in pop music. Musically, the album brings the percussive strength of Marcos Suzano in almost all tracks, and Naná Vasconcelos ("A Força Que Nunca Seca," previously recorded by Maria Betânia, and the delicious coco "Aquidauana"), as well as the jazz influences of Nelson Ayres' piano work. Beautiful lyrics, melodies, and arrangements in wonderful Brazilian styles are enough to recommend this album, in spite of its excesses and shortcomings.


Born: 26 January 1964 in Catolé Do Rocha, Paraiba, Brazil

Genre: MPB

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Chico César is a new composer/interpreter revealed in 1995. His compositions are a mix of social criticism and humor, with strong musical influences of the folklore of the northeast, having been recorded by artists like Elba Ramalho, Daniela Mercury, Zizi Possi, Emílio Santiago, and the Argentinean Pedro Aznar. Maria Bethânia chose his song "A Força que Nunca Seca" as the title track of one of her CDs. César has recorded four CDs so far and has been touring internationally since 1995. He began...
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Mama Mundi, Chico César
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