Jan 11 2008

Celso Fonseca: Feriado

A Musical Vacation


FeriadoIn Europe Celso Fonseca (Rio de Janeiro, 1956) is mainly known as a solo artist (singer/guitarist). His albums were released by the Belgian record label Crammed and after that, they also found their way to Brazil. The albums were dominated by a relaxed air of bossa nova and a pleasant touch of samba. Feriado tells another story. The cd saw daylight in Brazil first and has not been released in Europe yet. The music sounds quite different, referring to some other sides of the musician.

In Brazil Celso Fonseca has a firm reputation as an accompanying musician, producer and composer, too. Celso toured the world as guitarist with Brazilian icons as Milton Nascimento, Gal Costa, Djavan and Gilberto Gil. His guitars can also be heard on innumerous albums from other musicians in a variety of musical styles. As a producer, Celso lent his technical knowledge to singers such as Dulce Quintal, Gilberto Gil, Adriana Maciel and Mart’nália, while as a composer he has some hundred works recorded till now. It kind of explains the approach Celso chose for on his latest album Feriado, on which Celso plays the music he loves to play during concerts or in the convenience of his own home. That’s how less expected songs made it to the repertoire of the cd. The funk song “Ela Só Pensa em Beijar” is one of these oddities. The song by Leonardo Freitas, better known as MC Leozinho, that recently also showed up in Fernanda Abreu’s “Bloco Funk” (MTV Ao Vivo), is treated in a nice way by Celso. The edges of the funk are replaced by the softness of Celso’s well known bossa voice. Cecília Spyer adds backing vocals against woolly keyboards (Jorjão Barreto). “Next Year, Baby,” by Jamie Cullum, the young British jazz entertainer, is another surprising choice. Celso loves to sing in English and turns this song from Jamie’s album Twenty Something (2004) into a lovely bossa nova. Then there’s “Águas de Março,” the Jobim classic in a fresh arrangement with harmless percussion effects. Donatinho is guest on keyboards. Caetano Veloso’s “Você Não Entende Nada” is among the album’s highlights, thanks to a wonderful horn arrangement and a happy grumbling organ (Jorjão Barreto). “Sorte” is dominated by a wonderful electric guitar solo by Celso, driven by the horn section.

Celso Fonseca

The album’s three opening songs are Celso’s own compositions, which he gives a very contemporary arrangement. The percussion in “Beleza” is delightful (Thiago da Serrinha, Martn’ália and Menino Brito). Another highlight on the album is “Queda.” Its composer, Luciano Salvador Bahia, won the Caymmi Trophy for best composition with it in 2004. Celso shows why. In this tasteful arrangement the song gently unfolds into a gem.

The album closes with an instrumental by Deodato. The pleasant “Estrelinha” breathes the air of sunny Copacabana featuring a jazzy horn section and an acoustic guitar solo. It’s kind of how the overall impression of the cd can be summarized. Celso Fonseca came up with an unpretentious album that’s a pleasure to listen to. It leaves the listener with relaxed sunny feelings, like the ones we all hope to experience during a well earned vacation.

To learn more about this album and artist, please see Celso Fonseca’s website.



Celso Fonseca 
EMI MP,B 513003 2 (2007)
Time: 45’52”


  1. Não Se Afasta De Mim (Celso Fonseca)
  2. Feriado (Celso Fonseca – Ronaldo Bastos)
  3. Beleza (Celso Fonseca)
  4. Águas De Março (AC Jobim)
  5. Queda (Luciano Salvador Bahia)
  6. Viajando Na Viagem (Celso Fonseca)
  7. Você Não Entende Nada (Caetano Veloso)
  8. Sorte (Celso Fonseca – Ronaldo Bastos)
  9. Ela Só Pensa Em Beijar (MC Leozinho)
  10. Next Year, Baby (Jamie Cullum)
  11. Estrelinha (Eumir Deodato)