The Right Time and Place
Piano, bass, drums, acoustic guitar, a classy repertoire and Fernanda Cunha’s polished performance — that’s the recipe for this excellent debut recording. O Tempo e o Lugar is one of those albums to be enjoyed selfishly (or not). You can pour yourself a fine glass of wine and sit by a cozy fire as Fernanda serenades you with her gorgeous voice and stylish renditions. This is top-notch Brazilian music.
Fernanda Cunha (Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais – 1970) has music in her veins. Daughter of singer Telma Costa — to whom the album is dedicated — and niece of songwriters Sueli Costa and Lisieux Costa, Fernanda studied voice in Cleveland, Ohio, after getting a psychology degree in Brazil. She began her career in 1997 in Rio de Janeiro with performances at Vinícius Piano Bar, Mistura Fina, Hipódromo Up and other well known Rio clubs. In 2000, she moved to Ohio, where she lived for two years and recorded this first album. It was in Ohio where she met musicians Marcio Hallack (piano), Kip Reed (electric bass), Matt Perko (drums) and Gary Aprile (acoustic guitar). With arrangements by Kip Reed and Marcio Hallack, O Tempo e o Lugar was the culmination of being at the right place and the right time indeed. This excellent ensemble and the outstanding repertoire selection make this album one of my best purchases this year!
With swing that is so typical of Djavan‘s best compositions, “Muito Obrigado” opens Fernanda’s journey through Brazilian music. The ensemble is tight and performs with lots of energy. From her aunt, the great Sueli Costa, Fernanda picked three excellent numbers. The first, “O Tempo e o Lugar,” is an intimate piece with piano and bass doing superb solos in support of Fernanda’s sultry voice in this touching love song about a summer love affair. The second Sueli Costa tune is a nice bossa, “Rua Vinícius de Moraes,” lightening things up a bit with Abel Silva’s lyrics reminiscing about the sights, love and poetry of that street. The arrangement borrows a few notes of the famous “The Girl from Ipanema” in the introduction, and the tribute is openly given to the Poetinha (as Vinícius de Moraes was affectionately known). The final Sueli Costa song is the classic “Vida de Artista,” previously performed by Gal Costa in her 1978 Água Viva and Sueli Costa’s own 1978 album of the same name. Here Fernanda gives a soulful rendition highlighting the uncertainties of what makes an artist’s life in the “common market of human life.” The other gems in this fine recording feature well-known songs such as Ivan Lins‘ “Velas Içadas” (probably better known to foreign audiences as “Velas,” from Quincy Jones’ The Dude) and “Tim TIm por Tim Tim,” a classic Bossa Nova song performed by João Gilberto, Os Cariocas and Rosa Passos, among others. As for the other tunes, “Cruel Beleza” features a fine bass solo by Kip Reed that simply captivates. Though not very well known, the samba “O Preferido” has a certain feel of João Bosco/Aldir Blanc’s classics from the 1970’s. A great samba with Fernanda and the ensemble letting loose. The same goes for Toninho Horta‘s “Aqui, Oh,” with its fast tempo and jazzy samba arrangement. Marcio Hallack’s own “Canto de Recordação” is a perfect fit in this collection, too. Its intimate arrangement is like silk with Fernanda’s slow and heartfelt singing.
O Tempo e o Lugar is one of those debut albums that you might think comes from a seasoned singer. It is well produced, arranged and delivered with the confidence of someone who not only enjoys her craft but is also at ease doing it. Fernanda Cunha makes this album seem like it was done effortlessly. She is a talented singer with a gift for music.
You can visit Fernanda Cunha to learn more about the artist and this album.
O Tempo e o Lugar
Independent FC0000001 (2002)
- Muito Obrigado (Djavan)
- O Tempo e o Lugar (Sueli Costa – Fausto Nilo)
- Cruel Beleza (Lisieux Costa – Capinam)
- Velas Içadas (Ivan Lins – Vitor Martins)
- O Preferido (Gilson Peranzetta – Nelson Wellington)
- Rua Vinícius de Moraes (Sueli Costa – Abel Silva)
- Canto de Recordação (Márcio Hallack – Murilo Antunes)
- Aqui, Oh (Toninho Horta – Fernando Brandt)
- Vida de Artista (Sueli Costa – Abel Silva)
- Tim Tim por Tim Tim (Haroldo Barbosa – Geraldo Jacques)