Brazil from the Heart
Her voice is silky smooth, her phrasing always right with just the right inflection and emotion, and when she comes out with a new album, one immediately rushes to get it. It is immediate gratification when you begin listening to a new Fernanda Cunha release! She is one of Brazil’s contemporary singers who continues releasing albums that are most pleasing to demanding listeners. Her latest CD, Coração do Brasil, features a repertoire that is nothing short of wonderful. From Antonio Carlos Jobim and Noel Rosa to Daniel Gonzaga, Sueli Costa and Ivan Lins, the music here comes from the heart of Brazil.
Coração do Brasil gets its name from the Antonio Adolfo samba praising the beauty of Brazil’s rainforest, flora and fauna. It is indeed a most fitting name for an album that is full of Braziliance and brilliance. Produced by Fernanda Cunha, the album features the incomparable pianist Cristóvão Bastos (he also does some terrific arrangements) and musicians Jorjão Carvalho (bass, arrangements), Jurim Moreira (drums), Zé Carlos (acoustic and electric guitars, arrangements), Marcio Hallack (piano, arrangements), Camilla Dias (piano), and special guests Sueli Costa (piano) and Tom Szczesniak (accordion).
The music performed here is inspiring. From Cristóvão’s first opening chords, the feeling in “Eu Preciso de Você” is superb. Other tracks follow in a similar fashion alternating between blues and sambas in perfect harmony. Similar to “Coração do Brasil,” the samba “Rio” — co-written by Fernanda herself — is another song that explores the beauty in the Marvelous City, as Rio is known. Besides mentioning the natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro and its beaches, mountains and sunny skies, the song pays homage to legendary Brazilian composers Edu Lobo, Paulinho da Viola, Chico Buarque, Roberto Menescal and Tom Jobim. From Jobim, besides the opener, we also hear “Dindi.” On a lighter side of Brazil, who can resist the swing and lyrics in “Adeus América,” by Haroldo Barbosa and Geraldo Jacques? It is particularly pertinent that Fernanda decided to include this song in this album since her previous release, Brasil Canadá, took her abroad to trace parallels between Brazilian and Canadian music. Following this return from America, “Adeus América” and “Não Tem Tradução” are a match made in heaven.
From a new generation of Brazilian composers, Daniel Gonzaga’s “Samba Pro João” evokes his grandfather’s land. Daniel is the grandson of Luiz Gonzaga (the King of Baião) and son of Gonzaguinha (well known for his torch ballads). Before closing Coração do Brasil, Fernanda presents us with a brand new song written by Sueli Costa, “Perdido de Encantamento.” With a touching accordion solo by Tom Szczesniak, piano accompaniment by Sueli Costa and bass by Jorjão Carvalho, this is one of those memorable Sueli songs that stays in your head throughout the day and beyond.
Fernanda Cunha knows her art. She sings from the heart and makes the music we hear the center of her performances. Coração do Brasil is a treasure of unforgettable songs with an inimitable performer.
You can read more about the artist and album in her website.
Coração do Brasil
Independent MICR0002223 (2012)
- Eu Preciso de Você (Antônio Carlos Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira)
- Adeus América (Haroldo Barbosa – Geraldo Jacques)
- Não Tem Tradução (Noel Rosa)
- Coração do Brasil (Antonio Adolfo – Nelson Wellington)
- Feito Andorinha (Marcio Hallack – Luiz Sergio Henriques)
- Samba Pro João (Daniel Gonzaga)
- Rio (Camilla Dias – Fernanda Cunha)
- Dindi (Antonio Carlos Jobim – Aloysio de Oliveira)
- Perdido de Encantamento (Sueli Costa – Luis Sergio Henriques)
- Somos Todos Iguais Esta Noite (Ivan Lins – Vitor Martins)