Aug 12 2004

Simone: Baiana Da Gema

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Baiana da Gema (2004)

Simone is back at EMI Brasil, where most critics agree she had her best years. This album seems to be getting a lot of positive response from the critics. It also seems Simone has already received a Golden Record for this CD, just barely a month after its release.

Baiana da Gema was an idea of Simone, Ivan Lins and Marcos Maynard. With artistic production by Paulinho Albuquerque and general direction by Simone herself, the quality of this release is clearly stamped by the choice of its repertoire. Ivan Lins not only wrote all music, but he also performed piano and keyboards in every track and even lent some vocals to a couple of them. Other musicians featured here include Cláudio Jorge (acoustic guitar), Bororó (bass), Gilson Peranzzetta (piano), Zeca Assumpção (acoustic bass), Ricardo Silveira (guitar), Jurim Moreira (drums) and several others.

The album has a good balance between sambas and ballads. There are three fantastic partnerships between Ivan Lins and the great lyricist Paulo César Pinheiro. They are all excellent sambas. Whether critics like it or not, Simone has plenty of swing for singing sambas. And speaking of sambas, “Saravá! Saravá!” (Ivan Lins and Martinho da Vila) takes Simone back to singing Martinho da Vila as she did in Café com Leite. Furthermore, in this samba, Simone is joined by Martinho da Vila, Zeca Pagodinho and Dudu Nobre.

Contrasting with the spontaneity and vivacity of those sambas, we cannot forget how strong Ivan Lins’s ballads are. Baiana da Gema has some beautiful ballads. I especially liked the very slow numbers, mostly just Simone with Ivan Lins on piano. “Enrosco,” for example, is extremely sensual. Flora Figueiredo’s lyrics deal with the quest to find out whether someone can really drive you wild in love. Another unforgettable ballad is “Por Favor.” Here the lyrics are by none other than Aldir Blanc, a master in complex emotions and images. One of Lins’s most frequent collaborators, Vítor Martins co-wrote two songs for the album. The first, “Tanto Amor,” ends by proclaiming that “if I already loved so much, now I love you even more.” Then, as if that needed any more reinforcement, in “Voar” Martins’s lyrics define what love really is: “it is to burn with high fever without wanting a blanket.” In closing the album, “Espelho Seu” is that final touch with Simone sometimes whispering the short verses written by Elisa Lucinda. It is a beautiful song.


Baiana da Gema
EMI 473755 2 (2004)
Time: 43’16”


  1. Baiana da Gema (Ivan Lins – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  2. Veneziana (Ivan Lins – Celso Viáfora)
  3. Enrosco (Ivan Lins – Flora Figueiredo)
  4. É Festa (Ivan Lins – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  5. Cínica (Ivan Lins – Joyce)
  6. Por Favor (Ivan Lins – Aldir Blanc)
  7. Parei Contigo (Ivan Lins – Paulo César Pinheiro)
  8. Atlântida [Deserta – Tema de Serena] (Ivan Lins – Celso Viáfora)
  9. Tanto Amor (Ivan Lins – Vítor Martins)
  10. Saravá! Saravá! (Ivan Lins – Martinho da Vila)
  11. Voar (Ivan Lins – Vítor Martins)
  12. Dandara (Ivan Lins – Francisco Bosco)
  13. Espelho Seu (Ivan Lins – Elisa Lucinda)