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Paulo, harpsichord; Mário Franco, contrabass
c.d. title: Luz Destino
Label: MA Recordings 96
Cd #: MO39A
|The artists on Luz
Destino are four highly talented and creative young Portuguese musicians
who take traditional fado into the direction of baroque and jazz arrangements,
without losing the essential feel of the traditional style of interpretation.
Maria Ana Bobone's young voice (she was 21 at the time) is clear and strong
and she conveys the essential emotions that are characteristic of fado
singing. She also has a solo c.d on MA Recordings titled Senhora
Da Lapa, released in 1998 with pianist João Paulo accompanying her
on piano, as well as guest appearances by Ricardo Rocha and sax player
Ricardo Rocha is not only an excellent player of the Portuguese guitarra, he is also a composer and did the baroque arrangements for Luz Destino. The fado tradition runs strong in Ricardo's family--his grandfather worked for many years with "the queen of fado" Amalia Rodrigues.
Most amazing to me is that I would never have considered the harpsichord as an instrument in Portuguese fado--but it works! Perhaps this is because the harpsichord like the Portuguese guitar has metal strings and they compliment one another. João Paulo, the harpsichordist, is also a composer. He never seems to overpower the music with ornamentation but instead lets Maria Ana and Ricardo lead the way without compromising his role in the characterisitic sound of the group. He also has 2 jazz trio recordings on MA Recordings, with Peter Epstein on saxophones and Carlos Bica on acoustic bass, titled "O Exilio" released in 1998 and "Almas" in 1999. On both of these albums, he plays a Steinway Full Concert Grand Piano and composed most of the pieces. (João can also be heard as an accompanist for the fado singer Misia on her recordings on Erato Disques).
The standards for excellence at MA Recordings are very high. Not only must the artists be excellent musicians but the quality of space that the recording is made in must also be perfect. For in the mind of Todd Garfinkle, MA Recording's producer, space itself is an essential ingredient to all of his recordings. Todd is a master at finding this combination and making it work. Luz Destino was recorded, according to the liner notes, in a "centuries old cathedral in Lisbon," using only 2 omnidirectional Bruel and Kjær microphones, giving the recording a purity of sound that is unheard of in recording studios, as well as a spontaneity usually found only in live recordings.
M A Recordings has a catalog of more than 50 albums and they are all excellent. They can be found at their website at:http://www.marecordings.com
Note: A few
other favorite albums of mine on MA Recordings are: