''ANTHOLOGIE - MORNAS & COLADEIRAS''
(CABO VERDE,2002) @
I first saw Cesaria Evora performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival in the very late 90s and I have been hooked ever since.Her on stage sets are usually made to look like she is in a cafe back home and singing to you, her imaginary fellow patrons.When her back up band takes various extended solos she will sit down,watch,maybe smoke and have a drink and become part of the "cafe patrons"(us).It is a neat little device which guarantees an increase in audience empathy and closeness.And it works fabulously.
Cesaria,Ciza to her friends,was born in August of 1941 on Sao Vicente island,in the town of Mindelo.From the age of 16 years she began to become noticed locally as a singer working in Churches,carnivals and in cafes.She became very popular throughout the islands but could never garner enough outside interest.It was always an uphill battle for her and she struggled terribly both emotionally and financially.In 1975 the islands gained their independance(from Portugal) but not without tremendous turmoil.She gave up singing for 10 years to help her family but she spiralled into a deep depression and alcoholism.Finally in 1988 she was given an opportinity to go to Paris to record an album(at 47!) and she has never looked back as her career continues upward.
Cesaria is not a stunning beauty and she does not command a booming voice that reaches out to grab you.Instead I can only liken her singing to a floating leaf on a gentle wave of rythym.It just sits on top,always where it should be and going wherever the music takes it.
In conclusion I highly recommend this wonderful two CD set of the Cape Verde chanteuses' music which highlights the very essence and spirit of what this singer is all about.A definite must have.