A Broader and Very Solid Repertoire
Three years after having released her tribute to Tom Jobim, Josee Koning repeated the feat of recording yet another good album of Brazilian songs. With special participations by Ivan Lins and Dori Caymmi, who was again given the task of producing and arranging, Dois Mundos delves into a deeper repertoire of Brazilian music. Proving her strong affinity to some of the best Brazilian songwriters, Josee Koning recorded Ivan Lins, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Milton Nascimento and other stellar representatives of our music.
Except for the tracks in which Ivan Lins and Dori Caymmi guest star, the band accompanying Koning is comprised of Leonardo Amuedo (guitar), Hans Vroomans (piano, keyboards), Boudewijn Lucas (bass) and Enrique Firpi (drums, percussion). In addition to those, Alaor Soares plays berimbau in the opening track.
With a very eclectic repertoire, Dois Mundos opens with “Lua Soberana” and brings Ivan Lins to share the vocals and piano accompaniment. This is a great opening track for Koning’s vocal styles. It is the kind of song you would expect to hear at a live concert to get the audience going. Changing gears, Koning goes into Caetano Veloso’s soft ballad “Coração Vagabundo.” The tempo is languid as it should be, but with steady rhythm. Early on, we hear one of the best moments of this album with Gordurinha’s “Chiclete com Banana.” Koning shines in her phrasing and delivery, and the band is in top form. The opening piano solo is hot. This must have been a joy to record. It certainly is a pleasure to listen to it over and over again. Back to the Lins repertoire (the albums features five of his tunes), Koning picked a superb song, namely “Começar de Novo.” This is the kind of music where the words should be the emphasis, and that is precisely what Koning chose to do here. With a direct arrangement of the melody and no distracting tricks, she sings the words from her heart, and when Lins joins in the end, the arrangement reaches perfection. Beautiful performances by both artists, as is the case of Koning’s vocalese for Edu Lobo’s “Água Verde.” Now, here comes a tough selection. I can imagine the reason behind recording “Ana de Amsterdam,” as it fits the singer’s homeland and ties in very well with the album title of the two worlds of Holland and Brazil. However, it’s no wonder we haven’t heard this song more often. I can only recall two other performances to date: both by Chico Buarque himself (in the play album and the live recording with Caetano Veloso). Though the band and Koning’s performances are fine, the song really does not help much in the general scope of this album. This only helps in transitioning much better into the next track, one of Lins’s most beautiful and haunting melodies, “Aparecida.” Proving total control of her material, Koning is superb in “Doce Presença,” too. In Koning’s own words, this is “the ultimate love song,” and her performance here is sublime. Piano and voices (Lins joins in the last verses) are heavenly. Just before closing the album, “Ninho de Vespa” is a surprising number and challenge to both Leonardo Amuedo’s fine guitar and Josee Koning’s fast singing. Both artists are competent and deliver this energetic frevo flawlessly.
Koning proves she is as much at ease with MPB and Bossa Nova as she is with samba. Dois Mundos is a good release with a broader repertoire and the familiar solid performances by Koning.
Dois Mundos (Two Worlds)
Seven Music 241-054 (1998 – Brazilian issue: 2002)
- Lua Soberana (Ivan Lins – Victor Martins)
- Coração Vagabundo (Caetano Veloso)
- Chiclete com Banana (Gordurinha – Almira Castilho)
- Começar de Novo (Ivan Lins – Victor Martins)
- Água Verde (Edu Lobo)
- Ana de Amsterdam (Chico Buarque – Rui Guerra)
- Aparecida (Ivan Lins – Maurício Tapajós)
- Cravo e Canela (Milton Nascimento – Ronaldo Bastos)
- Doce Presença (Ivan Lins – Victor Martins)
- Colors of Joy (Dori Caymmi – Tracy Mann)
- O Bem do Mar (Dorival Caymmi)
- Ninho de Vespa (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Acqua Marcia (Ivan Lins – Marina Colasanti)