Cesaria Evora
Cesaria Evora
Catalogue Number:
Release Date:1995-07-18
Description:Cesaria Evora, a Cape Verdean with a rich alto voice, has been accurately described as a cross between Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday. It wasn't until 1988, though, that Evora traveled to Paris to record, and her fourth album, 1992's Miss Perfumado, made her a major star in France and Portugal. Her 1994 album, Cesaria Evora, duplicated that triumph, and it's this latter recording which has become her first U.S. release. Evora, celebrated in Europe as the "Barefoot Diva," is now 52, but she is still able to give every word a breathy intimacy even as she fills it with a pitch-perfect, full-toned resonance. Drawing on the work of such top Cape Verdean songwriters as Nando Da Cruz, Amandio Cabral, and Manuel De Novas, she sings in Criuolo, a Creole variation of Portuguese. As in Brazil, another former Portuguese colony with a strong African influence, Cape Verde has produced a music which is light and airy even as it incorporates African rhythms and quartertones. The morna possesses the low-key tunefulness of an equatorial cabaret music, but Evora's vocals impart a world-weary gravity to these tales of homesickness and doomed love. Geoffrey Himes