Singer and songwriter Elizah (Elisa Álvares Rodrigues – Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul) spent her childhood in Mozambique. Upon returning to Brazil, she began singing in church choirs before starting her professional career as a singer performing together with guitarist Guinha Rodrigues in the early 1990’s. Along with Guinha, she produced the show Como o Diabo Gosta, which also became her first album, released in 1995. That CD was followed by Beijo Manga in 1998, also with Guinha. Her career then took her to perform in Europe — Austria, Germany and Portugal — in 2000. Back in Brazil, she began working on Elizah, which was released in 2003 and featured arrangements by Daniel Sá (guitars) and Guello (percussion). Elizah features a select repertoire and some very special guests including Renato Braz, Yamandú Costa, Toninho Ferragutti, Nailor Proveta, Guello, Thiago do Espírito Santo among several others.
When I began writing this review, I soon realized that the best way to let you experience Elizah’s music was to go track by track and try to convey with words the music she makes. Also, I could not help but wonder how such a good album remains “hidden.”
The opener “Batuque de Pirapora” features a nice Afro multi-vocal chorus with Elizah, Edson Montenegro and Renato Braz. In addition to those vocals, Guello’s percussion with congas, tan tan, ganzá, caxixi, reco-reco, pandeiro and agogô makes this an infectious samba. The next song is voice, acoustic guitar and pandeiro only. “Euzinha” is electric, and this simple trio arrangement produces a highly energetic rendition of this Tânia Maria bouncy song. “Grama Verde” brings a little of the Brazilian countryside with lyrics painting a green pasture bathed in sun light. Again, back to a vibrant tempo, “Linha de Passe” won’t let you down. In particular, Proveta’s clarinet and Guello’s solos are awesome. From the minds of Sérgio Santos and Paulo César Pinheiro, “Cofre de Vidro” is one of those slow songs to soothe minds and souls. This loving slow samba features a touching flugelhorn solo by Jean Pierre Ryckebusch. Poetry and music soar. The next song is another can’t-stop-moving track. The baião “Bordado” features Elizah sharing vocals with Renato Braz, and it also has Toninho Ferragutti on accordion. The Brazilian northeast flavor is complete with Guello’s zabumba and triangle. Ferragutti’s solo half way into “Bordado” is fiery. Going back to serene sounds, Elizah sings “Choro Bandido” only accompanied by Daniel Sá’s acoustic guitar. It’s a very intimate and touching arrangement. “Eu Quero Ver” is another slow samba with plenty of ginga (Brazilian swing) and percussion accompaniment for Elizah’s joyous vocals. “Pra Viajar no Cosmos Não Precisa Gasolina” features Thiago do Espírito Santo’s fretless bass. It gives just the right mood along with Pedro Figueiredo’s soprano sax solo to wrap up a nice arrangement. In “Brasil Diarista,” Eliza shows her composer’s side along with Filó Machado’s lyrics questioning how to re-discover Brazil. Before closing the album, Yamandú Costa accompanies Elizah on a 7-string acoustic guitar. Candeia’s great samba “O Mar Serenou” is the last song in the album.
With polished arrangements, excellent guest stars and Elizah’s own solid performances, this album deserves wider recognition.
MP,B 325912005402 (2003)
Total time: 46’57”
- Batuque de Pirapora (Geraldo Filme)
- Euzinha (Tânia Maria)
- Grama Verde (Vitor RAmil – André Gomes)
- Linha de Passe (João Bosco – Aldir Blanc – Paulo Emílio)
- Cofre de Vidro (Sérgio Santos – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Bordado (Rodrigo Maranhão)
- Choro Bandido (Edu Lobo – Chico Buarque)
- Eu Quero Ver (Carlinhos Vergueiro – Landinho Marques – J. Petrolino)
- Pra Viajar no Cosmos Não Precisa Gasolina (Nei Lisboa – Augusto Licks)
- Brasil Diarista (Filó Machado – Elizah)
- Negrinho do Pastoreio (Barbosa Lessa)
- O Mar Serenou (Candeia)