The Friendliness of the Samba
For quite some people, Teresa Cristina is samba’s hope for the future. The relatively young singer (born in 1968) made an impressive debut for the large audience with the double album A Música de Paulinho da Viola in 2002. Teresa Cristina has a longer history in samba than that album, though, mainly by her frequent appearances in Rio’s uplifted Lapa neighbourhood. On her 2004 release A Vida Me Fez Assim, the singer confirmed the expectations again and even composed a few lovely sambas for that album. Still true to her tradition, she keeps on performing in bars at Lapa. Not to be missed when visiting Rio!
Teresa’s record company thought the time was ripe to show their fruitful star to an even larger audience, the audience of DVD watchers. For those who prefer just to listen, there’s of course a cd too. The music is taped in Niterói, the city on the other side of Rio’s beautiful bay. It may seem less obvious to record the spirit of Lapa there. However, the Teatro Múnicipal de Niterói happens to be an absolutely beautiful piece of traditional theatre architecture, which also means it suits perfectly as background for the DVD. Teresa Cristina and Grupo Semente seemed to feel at home there too.
Not being a stage animal, Teresa has a natural charm to capture the hearts of her audience. Without any choreographic ambition, she uses the expression on her face to illustrate the lyrics. That, and the inside view of the theatre are the benefits for the DVD buyers. The music is perfectly recorded. The songs from Teresa’s two albums form the main source for the repertoire. The band knows it by heart, and, as always, they show audible pleasure in performing it. Another good quality of Grupo Semente is that they serve as accompaniment of the singer, without stealing any part of Teresa’s evening. On the other hand they show their impeccable skill. The band is given one feature song, “Já Era (Palavra),” with lead vocals by Pedro Miranda. Grupo Semente (Pedro Miranda, pandeiro and vocals; Teresa’s husband Bernardo Dantas, acoustic guitar; João Callado, cavaquinho and Trambique, percussion) is expanded by some fine musicians. We hear the producer of this cd, Paulão 7 Cordas, on the 7-string guitar; Esculeba, percussion; Rui Alvim, clarinet and Paulinho do Pandeiro, percussion.
The voice of Teresa Cristina is in good shape. She puts the right sentiments in her voice on the right moment. Not a superfluous luxury when singing sambas. Highlights are the duet with bandleader Pedro Miranda on the very pleasant”Cem Mil Réis / Se Eu Pudesse” medley. The medley “Embala Eu / Samba-de-Roda / Chora Viola” is also among my favourites. You can even hear a funny funky break there on the cavaquinho by João Callado. It’s a true joy to hear Cristina Buarque in the backing vocals, along with Alfredo Del-Penho. Buarque admits she feels more comfortable in that modest role. However, there’s nothing wrong with the few lines she sings as a soloist on “Portela.” Cristina Buarque is one of Teresa’s musical mentors. Hearing her here is an extra, and it also shows the gratitude from Teresa Cristina.
Friendliness, that’s the main sentiment that prevails after listening to this album. Teresa Cristina might well be that unique person, samba’s hope for the future, in a metaphorical sense. I’m sure there are more talented singers of the samba repertoire in Rio’s rich cultural environment. Maybe the deserved success of Teresa Cristina stimulates them to show their faces too. Meanwhile we’ll enjoy listening to this wonderful singer who again delivered a nothing less than wonderful new piece of samba art.
Teresa Cristina & Grupo Semente
O Mundo É Meu Lugar – Ao Vivo
Deckdisc 22054-2 (2005)
- Gorjear da Passarada (Argemiro – Casquinha) / A Vida Me Fez Assim (Teresa Cristina – Argemiro)
- Acalanto (Teresa Cristina) / O Mar Serenou (Candeia)
- Pra Que Discutir com Madame (Haroldo Barbosa – Janet de Almeida)
- A Borboleta e o Passarinho (Teresa Cristina)
- Candeeiro (Teresa Cristina)
- Pedro e Teresa (Teresa Cristina)
- Pra Cobrir a Solidão (Teresa Cristina – Zé Renato)
- Já Era (Palavra) (Mauro Duarte)
- Cem Mil Réis (Noel Rosa – Vadico) / Se Eu Pudesse (Germano Augusto – Zé da Zilda)
- Onde a Dor Não Tem Razão (Paulinho da Viola – Elton Medeiros) / Coração Leviano (Paulinho da Viola)
- Coração Imprudente (Paulinho de Viola – Capinam)
- O Meu Guri (Chico Buarque)
- Com a Perna no Mundo (Gonzaguinha)
- Cordão de Ouro (Teresa Cristina – Roque Ferreira)
- Doce Amor (Nilson Gonçalves) / Se Tu Fores na Portela (Ventura) / Portela (Teresa Cristina – Pedro Miranda
- Embala Eu (Albaléria) / Samba-de-Roda (D.R.) / Chora Viola (D.R.)