In Excellent Company — Again!
While touring in Europe in 2006, Celia Malheiros met Danish pianist Thomas Clausen. A musical affinity was born and with it, the desire to do an album together. It did not take very long to gather the results of that encounter with After the Carnaval. Celia is definitely on the right track with her album guests. In the first, Sempre Crescendo (2001), Hermeto Pascoal had a guest appearance. The follow-up album, Cenário Brasileiro (2006) featured João Bosco. Now she raised the bar with Thomas Clausen on fender rhodes and piano and Carlos Malta on flutes and soprano sax. She does triple duty in After the Carnaval playing guitar and percussion and handling the polished vocals. The result could not possibly have been any better. After the Carnaval delivers a mixture of original music blending instrumentals and a few vocals with the inimitable style of Celia’s.
At times the music we hear has a feeling of saudade. It could be Malta’s beautiful and always touching flute solos. However, these musicians know just the right moment to surprise us. For example, “Esperando o Malta” starts like a soft serenade, but it soon picks up the beat in a lively samba. Guitar, flute and piano dazzle our ears. There is nothing like a strong opener to entice you for what lies ahead. “Nostalgia” could easily have been titled saudade. The piano introduction is gorgeous, as is the soprano sax solo. The title track is the first time Celia introduces her vocals in the album. Her guitar solos and accompaniment in the first two tracks showcased another side of her talents, and in “After the Carnaval,” we hear her strong vocals for the first time in the album. The lyrics tell the story of the end of another Carnaval season in a playful slow choro. Although Carnaval has ended, “as long as there is cheer, it’ll always be Carnaval,” the lyrics echo.
A great tribute to the late Cartola (Angenor de Oliveira, 1908-1980) brings back Celia’s lively vocals in this great samba. Even when reprising “Yemanjá” (from her first album), Celia Malheiros infuses new life in her music. Although all musicians equally share the beauty of this repertoire, the last two numbers open the door for Carlos Malta to prove once again that he is the “sculptor of the wind,” as he is known among musicians.
After the Carnaval, just like the song lyrics, leaves listeners with a cheerful and satisfying feeling of saudade. The chemistry among these talented artists is obvious and crystal clear in the music they play here. Celia Malheiros is in excellent company once again. Enjoy this live performance of “After the Carnaval.”
For more information about the album and Celia Malheiros, please visit her website.
Celia Malheiros, Carlos Malta, Thomas Clausen
After the Carnaval
Stunt Records MW000187747 (2009)
- Esperando o Malta (Celia Malheiros)
- Nostalgia (Thomas Clausen)
- After the Carnaval (Thomas Clausen – Celia Malheiros)
- Rainha do Mar (Carlos Malta)
- Ao Mestre Cartola (Celia Malheiros)
- Samba Train (Thomas Clausen)
- Yemanjá (Celia Malheiros)
- Moto Continuo Radamés Gnatalli)
- Tupizinho (Carlos Malta)
- Sete Pétalas (Carlos Malta)