Tuesday, February 5, 2013

In review--Galician Samba

Sērgio Tannus
Son Brasilego
Folmusica (Spain)

When I received a parcel from the Galician label Folmusica, I wasn’t expecting a Brazilian multi-instrumentalist CD.  Yet, Sērgio Tannus Son Brasilego reminds me of the proximity between Galicia (Northwest Spain) to Portugal.  The Gallego language of the Galician people also shares roots with the Portuguese language so even though Brazil is across the world from Spain or Portugal, Brazilian music shares connections with Galicia.  Besides, some of Galicia’s hottest folk musicians teamed up with Tannus on this sunny recording.  And not only that, I was surprised to see two artists (Ceumar and Antonio Zambujo) whose CDs I reviewed in recent months, sing on the songs, Água Quentinha (Ceumar) and Bethoven Tinha Razão (Zambujo). No wonder their voices felt like a deja vu experience.

I much prefer the slower, more sensual pieces, but the samba pieces have me wishing for time on a sunny South American beach. Plenty of vocal duets appear on the songs, and plenty of acoustic guitar, Portuguese guitar, violins, and trans-Atlantic percussion.  I describe the album as zesty, a word I almost never use.  The songs feel warm, inviting, and intimate, as if I have entered a private jam session. 

Choro Alegre delights with Uxía handling lead vocals, 100% features a young upcoming Galician vocalist, Sonia Lebedynski in an ethereal duet with João Afonso and the titular track pays homage to Galician folk music with its multiple singers, but we also experience Brazilian flavors.  The strangest track, Vó Genézia weds Brazilian samba to Galician bagpipes.  I think it’s an intriguing idea, but to my ears the effect is a riot of sounds.  Overall, I sense that the musicians came together in the spirit of cooperation and sharing musical talent and styles.  If the aim of world music is to explore the world, this recording covers a lot of air mileage. 

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