Caetano Veloso’s “Gatas Extraordinárias” song captures the essence of Simone and Zélia Duncan’s live recording Amigo É Casa very well. The two performers have had a solid career with their individual albums. With this 2008 CD and DVD, they reach a new level of artistry.
As expected, Amigo É Casa parades some of the best songs Simone and Zélia have made famous. They sing several duets and also revisit their solo hits. The listener gets a clear idea of the chemistry between the two performers as they sing hit after hit. However, if you buy the DVD, you will also see what was so transparent on the CD. Furthermore, the DVD includes eight additional tracks not available on the CD. Some of the gems not included here are Simone and Zélia singing Chico Buarque’s “Mar e Lua” and Sueli Costa/Abel Silva’s “Vento Nordeste.” One unforgivable omission on the CD is Sueli Costa/Abel Silva’s “Alma,” first performed by Zélia and then repeated by Simone. If that is not enough, the duet in “Jura Secreta” should be enough to get you running to buy the DVD.
Some of Simone’s greatest hits are represented here from her early days, as is the case of “Petúnia Resedá.” Not much was changed in the arrangement, but to hear (and see, if you have the DVD) this track as a duet is more than pleasing. The song so well fits Zélia’s style and voice that you might forget it was actually Simone who made the song famous. In keeping the rock feeling alive, Zélia and Simone continue with Marina Lima’s 1991 song “Grávida,” co-written with Arnaldo Antunes, and featuring a beautiful accordion solo by Léo Brandão, who keeps on coming back in other songs, such as “Na Próxima Encarnação.” The man transforms the accordion into an unusual rock instrument. An interesting surprise in “Na Próxima Encarnação” is the citation of Milton Nascimento/Ronaldo Bastos’ “Cigarra,” from Simone’s 1978 Cigarra. One nice solo featuring Zélia is Luiz Tatit’s “A Companheira.” The long lyrics get their deserved attention in Zélia’s beautiful performance. From Zélia’s 2005 Pré-Pós-Tudo-Bossa-Band, the two singers reunite for yet another great rendition in “Mãos Atadas.”
The two singers spared no resources in compiling a repertoire that so well fits their styles. Take, for example, Roberto Carlos and Erasmo Carlos “Meu Ego.” Previously recorded by Nara Leão, the song here is sounding so fresh and new, thanks to Simone and Zélia’s vocals. A great moment in the album, no doubt. Another excellent choice is the Paulinho Moska’s version of Jorge Drexler’s “Idade do Céu.” Also, when Simone revisits her early hits “Diga Lá Meu Coração” and “Medo de Amar Nº 2,” one cannot help but miss those days. Moving away from the old days to a tribute to the great Cássia Éller, Simone and Zélia give one very strong performance of Caetano Veloso’s “Gatas Extraordinárias.” Ângela Ro Ro’s “Agito e Uso” is yet another tribute to the feminine presence in Brazilian music songwriting. If there was ever any doubt these two singers were having fun on stage, this song clears away any shadow of doubt. The DVD then brings “Jura Secreta” just before closing the show with “Tô Voltando,” one of Simone’s greatest samba hits.
Amigo É Casa adds to both singers’ careers very well. Their careful music selection and performances are very pleasing and several times expand their musical horizons. Simone and Zélia are truly extraordinary performers.
Simone & Zélia Duncan
Amigo É Casa – Ao Vivo
Biscoito Fino BF694 (2008)
- Alguém Cantando (Caetano Veloso)
- Petúnia Resedá (Gonzaguinha)
- Grávida (Marina Lima – Arnaldo Antunes)
- Kitnet (Alzira E – Arruda)
- Cuide-se Bem (Guilherme Arantes)
- Na Próxima Encarnação (Itamar Assumpção)
- A Companheira (Luiz Tatit)
- Mãos Atadas (Simone Saback)
- Meu Ego (Roberto Carlos – Erasmo Carlos)
- Idade do Céu (Jorge Drexler – Paulinho Moska)
- Diga Lá, Coração (Gonzaguinha)
- Medo de Amar Nº 2 (Sueli Costa – Tite Lemos)
- Encontros e Despedidas (Milton Nascimento – Fernando Brant)
- Vou Ficar Nu pra Chamar sua Atenção (Roberto Carlos – Erasmo Carlos)
- Gatas Extraordinárias (Caetano Veloso)
- Ralador (Roque Ferreira – Paulo César Pinheiro)
- Agito e Uso (Ângela Ro Ro)
- Tô Voltando (Maurício Tapajós – Paulo César Pinheiro)