Sep 07 2005

Nilze Carvalho: Estava Faltando Você

The Missing Link


Estava Faltando Você

When Elis Regina died in 1982, a void was left in Brazilian music. A year after her death, another great Brazilian performer left us: Clara Nunes (Minas Gerais, 1942 – Rio de Janeiro, 1983). She was one of Brazil’s greatest samba performers who left an incredible body of work with her incredible phrasing and unequivocal singing style. Her voice was as smooth and clear as the oceans she frequently sang about. Yet, she also had one of the most powerful voices in Brazilian music. With almost two dozen albums recorded in her brief career, she sang some of the best songwriters in the Brazilian songbook, from Ataulfo Alves to Vinícius de Moraes and several others.

Two years before Clara’s death, Nilze Carvalho (Rio de Janeiro, 1969) released her first album at the young age of twelve! She has never stopped making music since then. Whether playing the cavaquinho, acoustic guitar or bandolim (her preferred instrument), Nilze has often been characterized as a prodigious talent. At age five, she already played cavaquinho. At age seven, Globo TV featured her in one of their weekly shows. When she was nine years old, she performed at the first Choro Festival of Rio de Janeiro and was hailed a prodigy child. After spending seven years performing in Japan, she came back to Brazil in 1999. Her career has been a constant ascent with more albums released either as an instrumentalist or with the group Sururu na Roda. It is no wonder that in 2003, she was one of the performers in Um Ser de Luz – Saudação à Clara Nunes, a tribute album to Clara Nunes.

With Estava Faltando Você, I get the feeling that Nilze Carvalho is destined to honorably fill in the void left by Clara Nunes. Nilze’s voice, phrasing, style and repertoire choices are sometimes eerily similar to Clara Nunes’. Like Clara, Nilze is a naturally born samba performer. She sounds most at ease when singing sambas, but she also ventures into other genres, such as some slow ballads recorded in this release. While being her own self, Nilze Carvalho shines in these 14 tracks. Besides being an outstanding instrumentalist and singer, she also writes excellent material. The first of her originals in the CD is a composition with her own father, Cristino Ricardo. Their duet in “Retaliação/Quando o Bloco Passar” is a powerhouse. In addition to Cristino Ricardo, other special guests, such as Marvio Ciribelli (piano) and Nei Lopes (voice), line up the stellar list of performers. Whether singing energetic sambas such as “C’est Fini” or the classic Johnny Alf “Ilusão à Toa” or the evocative tribute to Jacob do Bandolim, there is nothing short of wonderful in Nilze’s performances.

Though Ruy Quaresma and Humberto Araújo must be complemented on their fine arrangements (Quaresma also produced this wonderful album), the glory here should be all Nilze’s. It’s her clear voice that shines in all tracks. This is certainly one of 2005’s best albums!



Nilze Carvalho
Estava Faltando Você
FinaFlor FF006 (2005)
Time: 50’31”


  1. Estava Faltando Você (Wilson das Neves – Délcio Carvalho)
  2. O Cavalo de São Jorge (Roque Ferreira – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  3. Candeeiro de Vovó (D. Ivone Lara – Délcio Carvalho)
  4. C’est Fini (Pandeirinho – Nei Lopes)
  5. Retaliação /Quando o Bloco Passar (Cristino Ricardo – Nilze Carvalho) – w/ Cristino Ricardo
  6. Ele Pensa (Nivaldo Duarte – Marcio Lima)
  7. Evocação de Jacob (Avena de Castro)
  8. Andarilho (Nilze Carvalho – Cristino Ricardo)
  9. Ilusão à Toa (Johnny Alf)
  10. Samba ao Samba (Tuninho Galante – Marceu Vieira)
  11. Somos Nós (Wanderley Monteiro – Mario Lago Filho – Paulinho do Cavaco)
  12. História de Pescador (Nilze Carvalho – Cristino Ricardo)
  13. Valsa do Sonho (Paulinho Lemos – Agenor de Oliveira)
  14. Pra Lá pra Cá /Palmas no Portão (Dauro do Salgueiro – Nei Lopes / Walter Dionisio – D’Acri Luiz) – w/ Nei Lopes