Filó Machado is one of a new generation of Brasilian composers that has been flying under the radar in a substantial part of the world (though not in Brasil, where he is extremely well-known and respected) much to the detriment of the spread of that country’s music beyond conventional wisdom. The composer and instrumentalist, with an unique and inimitable singing style and who has compiled an enormous songbook, draws on his deep and colourful Afro-Brasilian heritage in much of his work and also has a breathtaking gift for writing memorable melodies, which is what the Brasilian vocalist Fernanda Cunha shines a light on in her short, but memorable album Canta Filó Machado.
The music of Filó Machado calls for performing challenges. His melodies leap and swirl often with tantalising melismatic ingenuity. This requires extreme virtuosity on the part of the vocalist. Miss Cunha is not only eminently suited to this kind of vocalastics, but negotiates Mr Machado’s music with consummate ease and grace. Her voice, at the sensuous mezzo often overlaps both the soprano and alto range of the feminine voice and she applies uncommon vocalastic skill to negotiate the lyric with great depth of emotion while conveying the narrative that the composer intends to convey. She is also exquisitely adept at negotiating the harmonic and rhythmic twists and turns in Mr Machado’s music and brings breathtaking dynamics to the softer parts of the music.
Along the way Miss Cunha has the benefit of the virtuoso expertise of some of the finest young Brasilian musicians. Strings player is on hand to provide exquisite accompaniment throughout and his performance (especially on “Pro Felipe”). Pianist Camilla Dias and bassist Berval Moraes are also completely attuned to the demands of this music, while percussion colourist Helbe Machado brings lyrical grace to the rhythmic content. The incomparable Canadian guitarist Reg Schwager brings his outstanding and articulate “diction” to “Carmens e Consuelos” as he soars with sustained tonal plenitude. His immaculate legato on the piece is one of the many pleasurable moments on this richly enjoyable disc by one of the glittering albeit relatively undiscovered stars of Brasilian music.
Track list – 1: Vale o Escrito; 2: Perfume de Cebola; 3: Rainha da Noite; 4: Carmens e Consuelos; 5: Pro Felipe; 6: Jogral; 7: Vice Versa; 8: Boca de Leão
Personnel – Fernanda Cunha: voice; Zé Carlos: violão, guitar and arrangements (1 – 3, 6, 8); Camilla Dias: piano; Helbe Machado: drums; Berval Moraes: bass; and featuring – Reg Schwager: guitar (4)
Released – 2019
Label – Independent
Runtime – 25:42
Bengt Berger: The Epic of Cool Funeral Beer
First there was life; then death and then life again. Perhaps that’s because human have a natural tendency to aspire...
Music from All Corners of the World
If a record label – or imprint – were to be considered an “unfillable” library in the sense that the...
Ana-Marija Markovina: Mendelssohn – Towards the Restoration of Genius
Ana-Marija Markovina: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Complete Works for Piano [Solo] Few composers – artistic geniuses at that – have...
Joyce with Mauricio Maestro: Natureza
There has been a plethora of re-issued recordings in the past few years, but none quite like this on –...
Plínio Fernandes: Saudade
The brilliant young guitarist Plínio Fernandes proves once again [although he probably did not set out to do so] that...
Orli Shaham: Mozart – Complete Piano Sonatas Vol. 2 & 3
Mozart Sonatas K.282, K.283, K.310, K.331, K332, K545 & K576 If classical radio stations [in Toronto, at any rate] are...
Artist Profile: Nella
Nella Rojas, or simply Nella, is a new voice hailing from the Venezuelan Island of Margarita Born in Venezuela, Nella...
Artist Profile: Salif Keita
Rail Band of the Train Station Hotel, Ambassadeurs of the Motel of Bamako, Ambassadeurs Internationaux, and lately, Les Ambassadeurs Internationaux: so many bands that...
Artist Profile: Alex Cuba
His sugarcane-sweet melodies, pop-soul hooks and powerful guitar riffs, relinquish a conventional stereotype that exemplifies much of the Latin music...
Albums9 years ago
Isabel Bayrakdarian – Ravel, Sayat-Nova & Kradjian: Troubadour and the Nightingale
Albums8 years ago
Banda Magda Presents: Yerakina
Interviews9 years ago
Conversation with Chris McKhool from Sultans of String
Albums9 years ago
A Fascination With “Bombay”: Richard Bennett; Bombay Dub Orchestra