Samba Is the Word
Born in Brazil’s capital Brasilia, but now living in Rio de Janeiro. Adriana Maciel released her third album. On the previous disk, Sozinha Minha, the singer explored a fusion of pop and MPB with tasteful and certainly not overdone use of electronics, produced by Sacha Amback, a quality mark of his own. This new cd attracts attention in two ways. First, the choice of repertoire is completely different and second, the voice sounds completely different. The repertoire consists of old sambas. The voice is set to whispering mode.
The album’s opening song, “Acabou Chorare,” sets the mood. It’s a funny song, with the baby voice of little Juliana Amback in the end referring to the story behind the song. That story is that when Bebel Gilberto was still a little girl, she was at one moment crying. Her father (João Gilberto) tried to comfort her, and Bebel honoured that by saying she “acabou chorare,” a child’s mix of Italian and Portuguese to inform dad that she stopped crying. Anyway, after the album Sozinha Minha, you certainly have to get used to the shy voice Adriana uses here. It’s like the voice subordinates to the instrumentation. With reason, because the acoustic guitar, played by none other than Moraes Moreira, sounds delightful. They are joined on keyboards by Sacha Amback and Humberto Barros and the percussion of the producer of this album, Ramiro Musotto. But it’s a false thought, because on the Chico Buarque composition “A Televisão” it’s clear that Adriana is the featured star on this album. She sings the song with a joyful dedication, doing justice to what each Chico Buarque composition deserves. The arrangement is wonderful too, featured by a violin solo by Nicolas Krassik. “Só” is the composition by Tom Zé that indirectly gave the cd its title (the lyrics goes: “Solidão, que poeira leve”). The Wurlitzer by Humberto Barros accompanies Adriana in the opening verse, guitar bass and percussion join in. Adriana sings this samba as a bossa. Guest vocalist Zeca Baleiro adds to that sentiment, turning this into one of the highlights of the cd. But there are more to follow. Like the catchy Kledir Ramil composition “Até Não Mais,” where Adriana’s long time musical friend Vitor Ramil joins in with his beautiful voice, that sometimes resembles Caetano Veloso‘s voice, timbre wise. Ramiro Musotto gives some extra colour to the song with his berimbau, and Alberto Continentino proves again to be a trustful bassist on the acoustic. “Samba dos Animais” has an air of electronic over it, but the mood is set straight as soon as the samba percussion enters; cuíca, pandeiro and surdo. The song ends with the sound of a berimbau, causing the same confusion as during the first moments of the song. Cartola is represented by his composition “Acontece.” Adriana Maciel shows so much respect in her voice that only Fernando Samalea’s bandoneon is able to match that. His solo is rich of tradition, flanked by Celso Fonseca on the acoustic guitar. The most light-hearted moment of the cd can be found in another Tom Zé (and Elton Medeiros) composition, “Tô.” Adriana uses her full voice again, in duet with Paulinho Moska. The pair plays their way through the arrangement, which is dominated by the familiar sound of the Hammond organ (Humberto Barros). “Feitio de Oração” is given a percussion only accompaniment featured by the lovely and masterful sound of the berimbau again, the deep sound of the surdo and the cry for attention by the cuíca. The composition on its own is a gem (by Noel Rosa, written in 1933), this arrangement a true dedication to the lyrics: “Batuque é um privilégio – Ninguém aprende samba no colégio – Sambar é chorar de alegria – É sorrir de nostalgia dentro da melodia” (percussion is a privilege – no one learns samba at school – To samba is crying of happiness – is a nostalgic smile inside the melody). The truth of those lyrics is proven in the album closing “Samba no Asfalto.” Accompanied only by Moraes Moreira, Adriana sets her statement about the samba. She picked out the songs very carefully, supported by Ramiro Musotto. A wonderful cd.
DeckDisc 22031-2 (2004)
- Acabou Chorare (Moraes Moreira – Luís Galvão)
- A Televisão (Chico Buarque)
- Mora Na Filosofia (Monsueto – Arnaldo Passos)
- Só (Tom Zé) – w/ Zeca Baleiro
- Nem Eu (Dorival Caymmi)
- Juízo Final (Nelson Cavaquinho)
- Até Não Mais (Kledir Ramil) – w/ Vitor Ramil
- Samba Dos Animais (Jorge Mautner)
- Acontece (Cartola)
- Tô (Tom Zé) – w/ Moska
- Feitio De Oração (Vadico – Noel Rosa)
- Samba No Asfalto (Moraes Moreira)