She comes from one of the most traditional families in Brazilian music. Her father, the legendary Dorival Caymmi, is synonymous with the rich traditions of the state of Bahia and songs about the sea. The entire family is in the music business. Danilo Caymmi, in addition to a successful solo career, was also a member of Tom Jobim’s band for many years. Dori Caymmi, song writer, singer and arranger, needs no introduction. He has worked with Sarah Vaughan and Sergio Mendes, for example. Nana Caymmi is, in brief, a Brazilian national treasure. Her heartfelt performances and careful repertoire selection are a constant in her solid career. Song writers, such as Milton Nascimento and her own father, have written songs especially for her unique singing style.
Resposta ao Tempo is an instant classic. It captures Nana Caymmi at top form. The album is produced by her longtime friend José Milton, who has produced several of Nana’s releases, and has artistic direction by Torcuato Mariano. Cristóvão Bastos, who co-wrote the title track with Aldir Blanc, is also responsible for all the magnificent arrangements. Although she does not need any extra help, Nana Caymmi shares the glory of Resposta ao Tempo with some friends. Brazilian pop icon, Erasmo Carlos, singing his and Roberto Carlos’ “Não Se Esqueça de Mim,” is a perfect combination exuding serenity and charm. Her protégé Emílio Santiago dazzles in the duet “Doralinda,” by Bossa Nova composer João Donato and the late Brazilian rock star Cazuza. The final duet brings composer and great friend Chico Buarque with his own “Até Pensei.” The other songs in this superlative release include music by brother Danilo Caymmi, Sueli Costa, Fátima Guedes, Bossa nova master Luiz Bonfá and Ary Barroso, to name just a few. It is, however, with the title track that Nana reaches new heights. The song was used for a Brazilian TV miniseries with great success. Although Nana Caymmi is not the type of singer that you will hear constantly on radio stations, the bolero “Resposta ao Tempo” did hit a home run. Cristóvão Bastos’ melody is mesmerizing, and Aldir Blanc’s lyrics are a masterpiece. The dialogue between the singer and time carries the strength that Aldir Blanc is so famous for in many of his compositions. Besides “Resposta ao Tempo,” Nana also scored superbly with the Brazilian version of “Fascination,” which was also used in another Brazilian soap opera.
Nana Caymmi can express playfulness, as in “Doralinda”; pain, as in Ary Barroso’s “Pra Machucar Meu Coração”; and reverence, as in Fátima Guedes’ “Minha Nossa Senhora.” She is a consummate artist that embodies the best there is in Brazilian music.
Resposta ao Tempo
EMI Brasil 496462 2 (1998)
- Resposta Ao Tempo (Cristóvão Bastos – Aldir Blanc)
- Até o Redentor (Sueli Costa)
- Não se Esqueça de Mim (Roberto Carlos – Erasmo Carlos) – w/ Erasmo Carlos
- Meu Sonho (Luiz Bonfá)
- Cantiga (Gilberto Gil – Torquato Neto)
- Chega de Tarde (Danilo Caymmi – Cacaso)
- Bolero de Neblina (Altay Veloso – Paulo César Feital)
- Doralinda (João Donato – Cazuza) – w/ Emílio Santiago
- Longe dos Olhos (Cristóvão de Alencar – Djalma Ferreira)
- Saudade do Rio (Dori Caymmi – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Cara do Espelho (Guto Graça Mello – Nelson Motta)
- Pra Machucar Meu Coração (Ary Barroso)
- Até Pensei (Chico Buarque) – w/ Chico Buarque
- Fascinação (Fascination) (F.D. Marchetti – M. de Feraudy – Armando Louzada)
- Minha Nossa Senhora (Fátima Guedes)
A modified version of this review first appeared in Luna Kafé, February 1999.