A Delightful Debut Album
The album opens strong. “Teatrinho” sets the pace with a funky arrangement for the horns (by Jesse Sadoc on trumpets and flugelhorns) and guitar (João Gaspar). The vocalist Letícia Carvalho has the right voice for the song. She stands up well against the assertive instrumentation and pushes it back to where it belongs: in the accompaniment. The song’s composer, Cláudio Lins (singer, actor and composer; son of Lucinha and Ivan Lins) joins in with vocals on a few lines and João Gaspar delivers one of his wonderful solos. In “Madeira de Lei” we’re taken back to a more traditional Brazilian approach, while “Lullaby” shows us the crooner in the vocalist, singing the John Pizzarelli/Joe Cocuzzo composition in beautiful English. Nei Conceição plays nice deep bass lines on the track. Letícia takes a risk when she gives her rendition of “Aos Nossos Filhos,” the song that was made immortal by Elis Regina. Letícia does a good job, supported by husband João Gaspar with great guitar chords, Nei Conceição on bass and Cássio Cunha on drums. A most remarkable moment comes when Letícia ventures into the 1940 French standard “L’Accordéoniste” (by Michel Emer [1906-1984]). The song is from the repertoire of the legendary French singer Édith Piaf (1915-1963). It’s clear that Letícia Carvalho knows the repertoire very well; her rendition has clear winks to Piaf’s vocal style. The accordion (Chico Chagas) that ends the song leaves no doubt about the nostalgic French atmosphere of the song. “Céu e Mar” is a contemporary Brazilian song by Suely Mesquita and Lucina.
The song features the soprano sax of Eduardo Neves. The samba is represented by “Emoldurada” followed by an impressive interpretation of “Homesick for Old Rio (Saudades do Rio)” and a somewhat obstinate version of Chico Buarque’s “Mil Perdões”. Letícia croones her way through the classic jazz standard “The Man I Love,” with jazzy features for guitarist João Gaspar and trumpeter Jesse Sadoc, with a very New Orleans inspired solo. Then the albums ends as it started, with a pop song. The Lulu Santos hit “Um Pro Outro” puts the accent on an CD full of variety.
The instrumentalists perform in an outstanding way throughout the album; they form the solid frame for the vocals of Letícia Carvalho. It’s an entertaining album that might give you the feeling that you know Letícia quite well now. But no, “this is not who I am” is what the singer tries to explain to us in the title of the album. Who is she then? On “Essa Não Sou Eu” the vocalist from Rio de Janeiro sings the songs that are important to her or songs that she just likes to sing. It’s neither a musical biography nor the definition of her style; it’s more like fragments in the life of the singer. Although Letícia studied sociology and graduated in journalism, it was singing that really made her happy, ever since childhood. Along the road she was in the backing vocals during Alcione’s tour for the 1997 album Value. As member of the vocal group Celacanto, she also accompanied Joyce Moreno. The actor, film director Domingos Oliveira invited Letícia to be part of his cabaret shows “Cabaré Filosófico” and a few years later she found herself singing the music of Édith Piaf in the musical L’Amour (2002). The music of the legendary French performer fascinates Letícia so much that she has made her own program around it.
With these experiences in mind, the music on Essa Não Sou Eu makes a lot of sense. It’s a wonderful debut album that, whether she likes it or not, reveals much about the artist! You can find more (but not all!) about the singer at her web page.
Essa Não Sou Eu
Independent LT01 (2009)
- Teatrinho (Cláudio Lins)
- Madeira de Lei (Ricardo Ritto – Renato Frazão)
- Lullaby (John Pizzarelli – Joe Cocuzzo)
- Aos Nossos Filhos (Ivan Lins – Vitor Martins)
- L´Accordéoniste (Michel Emer)
- Céu e Mar (Lucina – Suely Mesquita)
- Emoldurada (Ivan Lins – Celso Viáfora)
- Homesick for Old Rio (Saudades do Rio) (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Mil Perdões (Chico Buarque)
- The Man I Love (George Gershwin – Ira Gershwin)
- Um pro Outro (Lulu Santos)