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Friday, November 10, 2017

CD Review: Mônica Vasconcelos - The São Paulo Tapes

Mônica Vasconcelos (voice); Ife Tolentino (guitar); Liam Noble (piano); Andrés Lafone (elect. bass); Yaron Stavi (double bass); Marius Rodrigues (drums).
(Review by Lance).
And still they advance - the girls - I'm surrounded, I surrender, although in this case it's a sweet surrender. It may be an album of Brazilian Resistance Songs and even though the lingo is foreign to me, the songs speak for themselves. Just as Italian Opera is best heard in Italian irrespective of how au fait you are with the language, so it is here. The booklet tells those who wish to know what each song is about but I prefer to listen and draw my own conclusion. In truth, treating the vocals as another instrument.

Vasconcelos, who appeared at GIJF circa 2009, has been living in the UK for over two decades during which time she has appeared at many prestigious venues as well as recording 7 albums to date.
The São Paolo Tapes are particularly special to her showcasing, as they do, the compositions of many of Brazil's greatest songwriters. Because, and I quote, they were; Crafted by by real masters of songwriting during the dictatorship (1964/1985), under the scrutiny of censors, they have a power that transcends time and borders, I guess because they address universal themes. Love, freedom, justice. They can be joyful or sad - but they never fail to move you, I know where she's coming from.
This is far removed from Astrid Gilberto, offering an alternative look at Brazil via song and story.
Robert Wyatt who'd previously recorded with Vasconcelos came out of retirement to produce the album. Liam Noble is well featured and the musicians blend like the best Brazilian coffee and, in this case, it's instant!
Currently being played regularly on Jazz Fm The São Paulo Tapes, are available via the usual suspects.
Lance.

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