May 09 2003

Zélia Duncan: Sortimento Vivo

An Anniversary Celebration


Sortimento Vivo

In these years of promoting the DVD’s, it’s inevitable that most artists have their most recent concert recorded. For the release on both CD and DVD, Zélia Duncan is no exception. A nice excuse is the coincidence of Zélia’s 20th anniversary of being on the road.

Zélia Duncan didn’t “just” reach this success. She’s one of the hard working musicians, slowly climbing their way to recognition, singing in various clubs, doing background vocals, jingles or whatever it took to earn a little money and gain experience. It’s during this past decade that her work paid off. Releasing five very well received albums since 1990, and respected by fellow musicians, critics and audience.

This sixth album was recorded live in São Paulo, during the tour she did to promote her latest studio recording “Sortimento”. Funny enough the title song of that album is not performed on this cd… Seven of the twelve songs of that album are. Most heard complaint about live albums is whether or not they add something to the original recordings. Comparing the songs on this live album with the studio versions, I’m left with the feeling that the live recordings are a bit more powerful, the edges are a bit sharper. The band sounds funkier than on the studio recordings. Drums and percussion lay down a tight and strong rhythm (the wonderful Simone Soul, Christiano Galvão and Orlando Costa). The opening “Alma” sets the mood, resulting in grateful reactions by the audience. Expectations are confirmed with the funky “Por que que Eu não Pensei Nisso Antes?” The participation of Rappin’ Hood, DJ Marco and Johnny MC on “Desconforto” is more enthusiast than on the studio date, adding more hip-hop feeling to the song. A little acoustic set opens with a touching tribute to the late great Cássia Eller, a long time friend of Zélia. Renato Russo’s “Por Enquanto” was one of Cássia’s bigger successes and is performed here in a delicate and beautiful way. This rendition ends with a verse from another hit sung Cássia “O Segundo Sol,” by Nando Reis, “não tem explicação”… Herbert Vianna’s “Partir, Andar” is performed with beautiful intimacy. Zélia doesn’t seem to be able to leave the stage without singing Tanika Tikaram’s “Cathedral Song.” The arrangement sounds beautiful, very basic, supporting the dark voice. Unfortunately the audience takes over singing during the last verses, disturbing this otherwise surprisingly fresh performance of a too familiar song. One disadvantage of live recordings. “Não Vá Ainda” puts things right again, demonstrating the remarkable voice technique of the singer. “Flores” has a little tropical flavor hanging over it, making this a pleasant rendition. The only new song is “Gringo Guaraná,” with funky bass lines by Ézio Filho and sung with a nice dose of good humor.

This album maybe doesn’t add to the singer’s repertoire, but are live recordings supposed to do so? This is a representative collection of good songs performed by an accurate band and one of today’s more important performers. Only bad thing is the participation of the audience (“Catedral” and “Enquanto Durmo”), that intervenes on the listening pleasure of the one who’s enjoying this music at home.



Zélia Duncan 
Sortimento Vivo 
Mercury Universal 04400189172 (2002)
Time: 67’13”


  1. Alma (Arnaldo Antunes – Pepeu Gomes)
  2. Chicken de Frango (Rodrigo Maranhão – Zélia Duncan)
  3. Por que que Eu não Pensei Nisso Antes? (Itamar Assumpção)
  4. Eu me Acerto (Zélia Duncan)
  5. Lá Vou Eu (Rita Lee)
  6. Sentidos (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)
  7. Desconforto (Rita Lee – Zélia Duncan)
  8. Por Enquanto (Renato Russo)
  9. Partir, Andar (Herbert Vianna)
  10. Boomerang Blues (Renato Russo)
  11. Verbos Sujeitos (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)
  12. Catedral (Tanika Tikaram – Translation Christiaan Oyens, Zélia Duncan)
  13. Não Vá Ainda (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)
  14. Flores (Fred Martins – Marcelo Diniz)
  15. Gringo Guaraná (Rodrigo Maranhão – Zélia Duncan)
  16. Enquanto Durmo (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)
  17. Me Revelar (Christiaan Oyens – Zélia Duncan)