Sunday, January 11, 2009
In review--Music of the MidAtlantic
Galician vocalist Uxia's Eterno Navegar could not have entered my life at a better time. The blend of Portuguese fado, Brazilian, Cape Verdean and Galician musical traditions possesses the fragrance of lemons and the taste of olives. And the lush array of instruments which includes regional, traditional, classical and jazz standard instruments, are beautifully arranged by producer-pianist Paolo Borges and Uxia. Certainly this recording is warming up my home and my life during one of the worst winters I have ever experienced.
For those of you not familiar with Galicia, it is a region in Spain that borders the Atlantic. The people of Galicia speak their own language, are of Celtic origin and the infamous "El Camino" ends in Galicia, at Santiago de Compostela. The other mentioned regions, Brazil, Portugal, and Cape Verde share the Atlantic Ocean in common. Restless themes of traveling by sea and befriending neighboring countries frame the recording. According to Uxia in her liner notes, "music has never had and will never have borders." This philosophy holds true on this recording and many like it.
Uxia's vocals which resemble Portuguese fadista Cristina Branco at times, flow quite well through jazz arrangements, A Quimera, the waltz Unha noite na eira do trigo and the opening duet, As Nosas Core with Portuguese-Cape Verdean vocalist Sara Tavares (one of many guests that appear on this lovely CD). One of the most fascinating track is the fado Eu en ti supported by dobro, slide guitar and piano.
Recorded in Lisbon, Eterno Navegar feels effervescent, uplifting and refreshing. This nurturing recording could do wonders to a midwinter health regime. Certainly it can thaw the winter blues. It feels downright toasty.