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Voz d'Amor

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Album Review

Césaria Évora, Cape Verde's "barefoot diva," has perfected her native morna style, and with her deep, soft-burred tenor, has gained an international audience for her blues-steeped laments. Voz d'Amor features several mornas, but up-tempo coladeras, as well, most notably the striking "Velocidade," written by Luis Morais, the father of modern Cape Verdean music, which spotlights a vocal choir and a lively lyrical clarinet line. But slow-burning, sad songs are Évora's specialty, and there are several striking examples here, including a cover of "Beijo Roubado," first recorded by Brazilian singer Ângela Maria. The opening track, "Isolada," a morna written by Évora's uncle, the poet B. Leza, features mandolin by Hamilton de Holanda and is perfectly suited to Évora's warm, honey-tinged voice. The single most striking track is the beautiful lament "Marde Canal," a traditional Cape Verde melody with lyrics from Fernando Andrade about the beauty and treachery of the sea channel between Sao Vicente and Santo Anton. Évora's vocal here is sad, resigned, and wise, by turns. Voz d'Amor is another fine collection from a remarkable singer.


Born: 27 August 1941 in Mindelo, Cape Verde

Genre: World

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A native of the island nation of Cape Verde, Cesária Évora was known as the country's foremost practitioner of the morna, which is strongly associated with the islands and combines West African percussion with Portuguese fados, Brazilian modhinas, and British sea shanties. Évora began singing morna at age 16 after meeting an attractive young guitarist. Her talent soon had her performing all over the islands, and in the late '60s two of her radio tapes were released as albums in the Netherlands and...
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Voz d'Amor, Cesária Évora
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