Refashioning Fado

Mariza -  Terra
Mariza – Terra

Terra (Four Quarters Entertainment/World Connection, 2008)

January just got brighter for fado fans with the upcoming January 27th release of Mariza’s Terra, while North American fans have an opportunity to catch Portugal’s premier fadista in action as she launches her three-month tour. With her previous recordings Fado Em Mim, Fado Curvo, Transparente and the live recording Concerto em Lisboa, Mariza has struck at the very heart of fado fans and captured their souls with her passionate vocals. Teaming up on Terra with flamenco guitarist and producer Javier Limón, Mariza is poised to take the fado to new heights.

Savvy and sophisticated, Terra is fashioned out of familiar songs like the “Já Me Deixou” and the new composition “Pequeñas Verdades,” written for Mariza by Mr. Limón. A vocal force, Mariza entices with flavorful tracks like “Minh’ Alma” and blazes a fiery path through tracks like “Beijo de Saudade,” with added vocals by Cape Verdean legend Tito Paris and a sultry trumpet line set down by Carlos Sarduy. Added treats are the splendid “Fronteira” with Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes, the beguiling “Tasco da Mouraria” tinged with jazzy sentiments and the flamenco guitar of Mr. Limón and added vocals by Concha Buika on “Pequenas Verdades.” The real charmer on this CD has to be the bonus track, the elegantly sweet version of “Smile,” with Mariza’s vocals laid down like liquid grace.

More than just adding another layer of paint, Terra refashions and expands the sound of the fado for old and new fans without losing the structure, making the CD a real delight. With a splendid sophistication and artful instrumentation and, of course, Mariza’s plaintive laments and dramatic vocals that hold the listener captive, Terra is simply wonderful.

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Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.


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