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Cesaria Evora
Miss Perfumado,  Nonesuch Records CD 79509-2, 1998

 Beautiful, heart-touching singing

Although Cesaria Evora often sings about the world and of its troubles–as she salutes striking workers in "Cumpade Ciznone" here–this gentle soul can also sing just as naturally of contentment. With the title track she sighs "If the dove is happy in her nest, I am happy too."

Singing in a style called  morna, Evora, who comes from the small Portuguese-speaking island of Sao Vicente off the coast of Senegal, shows just why she’s revered in her homeland. Evora’s voice is rich and textured, yet nimble enough to make hairpin turns at a phrase intersection’s notice. The music is both percussive, much like Latin music, and highly melodic.

Though hardly a young lady anymore, Evora sounds like a romantic at heart. And while Nonesuch has once again included English translations for these songs, so it’s clear that few of them have anything to do with affairs of the heart, I can’t keep from swooning to this grand woman’s vocals.– Dan MacIntosh

 Glenn Brooks says... Imagine, if you can, what Edith Piaf might have sounded like had she lived to be gray-haired (and slowed the vibrato to a throb), and you will have some idea of the subtle power of Cesaria Evora. An astonishingly affecting singer, whatever the language.

of related interest

Cesaria Evora
 Cesaria Evora, Nonesuch CD 79379-2, 1995
 Cabo Verde, Nonesuch CD 79450-2, 1997
You will want to check these out too. Just as fine as Miss Perfumado.
The Soul of Cape Verde
 Tinder Productions CD 42831732, 1997
A fine collection of other music from the Cape Verde Islands.

Copyright © 1999 Peppercorn Press. All rights reserved.