Sensitivity in Style
Produced by Zeca Baleiro and recorded in São Paulo from October 1998 through June 1999, Ceumar’s debut album Dindinha is a joy to listen to. Her captivating voice and well-produced arrangements shine from beginning to end. Ceumar (Itanhandú, Minas Gerais) herself is responsible for the base arrangements in all but three tracks. The all acoustic ensemble that backs her up is also responsible for the wonderful sound that the album creates, especially the steel acoustic guitar that Ceumar uses throughout most of these tracks. Her band includes Webster Santos (cavaquinho, guitar, mandolin), Pedro Macedo (acoustic bass), Luiz Cláudio (percussion), Carlos Ranoya (piano), Thomas Rohrer (violin), Swami Jr. (7-string guitar) and also features special guests Zeca Baleiro (voice), Chico César (voice) and Toninho Ferragutti (accordion).
If you have never heard Ceumar’s soft and smooth vocals, you will melt upon hearing the first verses of the title track, “Dindinha.” Her father used to refer to her as the “velvety voice.” That is not an exaggeration once you hear her crystal tone and clear enunciation. The innocence of Zeca Baleiro’s lyrics coupled with Ceumar’s tender performance and sensitivity will sound like a true lullaby. Rohrer’s violin and Ranoya’s piano accompaniment complete this fairy tale track. For the listener, the right mood is set with that very first song. Extra care was put in the repertoire selection and arrangements in order to maintain a quiet ambience and classy folk feeling. The lyrics in “Banzo,” for example, evoke Brazilian rivers, cities and even religious beliefs while at the margin of the River Seine. In “As Perigosas,” the same reference to Brazilian birds — sabiá and arapuã — as well as fruits and other delectable tropical treats create a lush scenery. In just a short time span, you travel from the Amazon to the countryside with vaqueiros (cowboys) and Brazilian rodeos, as in “Geofrey, A Lenda do Ginete.” And while in that theme, “Gírias do Norte” is all about the northeast with its infectious coco rhythm and playful lyrics taking you to the traditional folkloric June celebrations (festas juninas). That celebration is also emphasized with “Olha pro Céu,” a song traditionally played during that time of the year in Brazil. Though generally performed with an accordion and zabumba, here Ceumar does a gorgeous a cappella arrangement with her own multi-layered vocal work.
Dindinha is a wonderful debut album. What is even nicer about Ceumar is that she has maintained the same quality of work in her subsequent releases. With each new album she puts out, she grows musically and proves what an excellent singer and performer she is.
You can visit Ceumar to learn more about the artist and this album.
Atração ATR 311079 (1999)
- Dindinha (Zeca Baleiro)
- Banzo (Itamar Assumpção)
- Galope Rasante (Zé Ramalho)
- Cantiga (Zeca Baleiro)
- Maldito Costume (Sinhô)
- As Perigosas (Josias Sobrinho)
- Boi de Haxixe (Zeca Baleiro)
- Rosa Maria (Josias Sobrinho)
- Geofrey, A Lenda do Ginete (Chico César)
- Gírias do Norte (Jacinta Silva – Onildo de Almeida)
- Pecadinhos (Zeca Baleiro – Tata Fernandes)
- Olha por Céu (Luiz Gonzaga – José Fernandes)
- Let it Grow (M. Dunford – B. Thatcher)