Very Best of Césaria Évora

The Very Best of Césaria Évora

by Cesária Évora
     
 
The charm of Cape Verde's queen of the morna, Cesaria Evora, is her timelessness: Like Edith Piaf's her richly hued voice is inconsolably retrospective, whether murmuring from the intimate precincts of a late-night piano bar or fronting a pumping carnival band. Fittingly, The Very Best of Cesaria Evora plays like a collection of snapshots, each frame

Overview

The charm of Cape Verde's queen of the morna, Cesaria Evora, is her timelessness: Like Edith Piaf's her richly hued voice is inconsolably retrospective, whether murmuring from the intimate precincts of a late-night piano bar or fronting a pumping carnival band. Fittingly, The Very Best of Cesaria Evora plays like a collection of snapshots, each frame made familiar by the one-of-kind voice of the matronly Evora, even as her world-weariness is gussied up or stripped down, from album to album. Covering the period from 1992, when the sixtysomething-year-old grandmother was discovered by the French and minted an international star, through her 2001 Grammy contender São Vicente, this carefully chosen best-of combines most, but not all, of the songs identified with the barefoot diva, alongside some interesting bonuses. Her brother in the Afro-Portuguese musical firmament, Angola's Bonga, chimes in on a new version of "Sodade," Evora's theme song, the rough burr of his voice a natural foil for Cesaria's whiskey-smooth delivery. Two unreleased tracks, "Fala Pa Fala" from the São Vicente sessions, and "Fidjo Manguado" from 1997's Cabo Verde recording, reward older fans, and completists will note that the version of "Crepuscular Solidão" from São Vicente included here is absent the guitar and vocals of Bonnie Raitt. No mind -- there's so much beautiful music on this generous set that only diehards would complain about a set that skips over classics such as "Miss Perfumado." But that's what Cesaria Evora's catalogue is for; every album in it just as worthy as this lush collection.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
That Cape Verde's Césaria Évora is justifiably called the Queen of Morna, the music with the lilting ache, is beyond question; she can convey emotion in a small inflection of her voice. But the woman also known as the Barefoot Diva is just as surefooted on the more up-tempo coladeiras, and both styles are well represented on this compilation, which pulls from several of her albums over an 11-year period. The tracks of real interest, though, are those that have never seen the light of day before, including a new version of her trademark tune, "Sodade," featuring a duet vocal from Angola's Bonga that adds little to her original version. "Fala Pa Fala" takes her more into Afro-Cuban territory, rhythmically sprung but not especially memorable, and "Embaracação," another duet, this time with Polish singer Kayah, proves equally forgettable. In fact, of the bonus tracks, only one, the lilting "Fidjo Maguado," is the equal of her best work. Those who are fans of Évora's honeyed voice will likely already have her albums, and the previously unreleased material is only likely to attract the really hardcore. For those just looking for a way into the luminous world of Évora's vocals, however, this is the perfect introduction.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2002
Label:
Rca Victor
UPC:
0090266398423
catalogNumber:
63984

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