The gentle, graceful, fragile guitar and vocal work of the first track lulls me into a false sense of relaxed security before the samba kicks in in earnest and blows the doors off any possibility of sitting still.
But it’s not the Brazilian sound as I think I know it.
The guitar and percussion is present, but in song after song it is woodwind and occasional brass that takes the lead, the attention, the starring role. While the mild yet beautiful vocals hold the structure, the beat, it is (depending on the track) flute and sax and trumpet which meanders all over the beach, explores the city, entwines friends and lovers. These are the instruments which provide the passion, power, precision.
The fact that it is all so unexpected means that I can’t stop listening.
Having recently finished reading my brother’s book Benfica to Brazil – an exploration of his time studying the language and culture (and football) of Cartola’s home -I am keenly aware of the lilting, slightly imprecise sound of Brazilian Portuguese he so wonderfully describes.
I see the scenes he wrote about, which Cartola lived and later recorded.
Here is a old fashioned but somehow timeless sound, neither modern nor dated, and always a pleasure to hear, but especially as the temperature climbs into the 80s, letting us know that summer is on its way.
Next Week: Enrico Caruso – Twenty-one Favorite Arias
Owned before blogging? No. (12 of 164 = 7%)
Heard before blogging? No. (21 of 164 = 13%)
Recommend? Yes. (137 of 164 = 84%)