February 20, 2018
Cesaria Evora | Carnaval De Mindelo
TITLE: Carnaval De Mindelo
Lusafrica Records is the house that Cesaria built – Jose da Silva started the label in 1990 to release Cesaria Evora’s first international album, and Cabo Verde’s “barefoot diva” remains Lusafrica’s biggest seller even though she died in 2011. Many of Evora’s best loved songs are mornas, the bluesy style closely related to the fado of Cabo Verde’s colonial overlord, Portugal. This EP is a refreshing idea: re-set four Cesaria favorites in the upbeat, drum-driven musical style of the pre-Lent carnival of Mindelo, her home town. The arrangements by Hernani Almeida are excellent – they don’t sound at all like studio remixes, rather as though Cesaria sat in with a carnival parade band. The Mindelo carnival sound is light compared to, say, a Brazilian samba school (although the brass parts on two songs were actually recorded in Recife) or a New Orleans second line, but it’s certainly propulsive and will get you on your feet. Importantly, it gives us another reason to listen to one of the great voices of our era.
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