The glorious Café Atlantico finds Césaria Évora venturing into more Latin American musical landscapes, as opposed to Portuguese, which dominated her previous albums. Évora draws from traditional Cuban and Brazilian music to mesmerizing effect. The album is also a tribute to her home town of Mindelo, on the Cape Verdean island of Sao Vicente, which was once a busy port with sailors cruising between South America, the Caribbean, and Portugal. Therefore, the music is heartbreaking and nostalgic, warm and tragic all at once. The masterful "Carnaval de São Vicente" is one of the most joyous, bittersweet party songs ever put on wax (and was even issued as a maxi-single with fantastic remixes). "Roma Criola" is tragic, lonely, destitute, and always interesting, making for an undiscovered masterpiece of a ballad, and her rendition of the Spanish language standard "Maria Elena" is absolutely heartbreaking. The album evokes a moody elegance rarely found in modern music, from the sweeping opener "Flôr Di Nha Esperança" to the summery "Amor Di Mundo," and the picture she paints of this café at the end of the world is a gorgeous, multi-colored, and emotion-stirring palate.
This album is nothing short of world class and will be enjoyed by generations to come. By Jose F. Promis/AMG
Reviews: Audiophile Audition March 2015 by Brian Bloom
I was first introduced to Cesaria by an audiophile friend who seemed to possess every disc recommended by Harry Pearson (of The Absolute Sound). The music was always quite varied, well-recorded, and in the case of this particular disc, enjoyable to listen to as well. Although Latin jazz has seen moderately popularity over the years, Evora is more of a Latin folk singer. With this record she borrows from Cuban and Brazilian music with an interesting blend of tempo and style. As is the case on her other records, Cesaria’s voice is rich and beautiful and a pleasure unto its own. This disc, like the album Cabo Verde before it, charted all the way up in the top five records on the U.S. world music charts.
With the growing use of music streaming services I’d like the think the audience for world music is increasing and there will be more exposure to new music like Evora makes. Café Atlantico starts off slow and mellow and picks up the pace from there. There are some sad, sweet tunes mixed in with playful jaunts through rhythm and melody. The last tune of side four offers the sound of the accordion that is somewhat reminiscent of the music on the Amelie soundtrack—I just happened to have watched the film again recently. This record is great for an active or passive listening session and although the music will be unfamiliar to most, it is a great way to get a taste for some contemporary Latin music. Brian Bloom
Side 1: 1 flor di nha esperanca 2.vaquinha mansa 3.amor di mundo
Side 2: 1. paraíso di atlantico 2.sorte 3.carnaval de são vicente 4.desilusão dum amdjer
Side 3: 1. nho antone escaderode 2. beijo de longe 3.roma criola
Side 4: 1.perseguida 2.maria elena 3.cabo verde manda mantenha 4. terezinha
Personnel: Cesaria Evora, vocals / 6 & 12 string guitar, cavaquinho and arrangements bau / slide guitar, background vocals: luis ramos / cavaquinho, background vocals: jacinto pereira / acoustic bass guitar, background vocals: jose paris / piano, background vocals (and arrangements on roma criola): nando andrade / drums: calu / percussion: tey santos / tenor and soprano saxophones, percussion, vocals: totinho / pandero (carnaval de são vicente) and bongo (nho antone escaderode): silvano michelino / kora (desilusão dum amdjer): conde djeli Moussa / accordion (terezinha): jacky fourniret / background vocals: valerie belinga, valerie tribord, marie-paule tribord, toy vieira, teofilo chantre
Additional background vocals on carnaval de são vicente: fred, armandine, manuna, nadine, john nobre, nedelise, yolanda, stephanie & calu.
Beijo de longe & maria elena : tata guines (tumbadoras), tomas ramos ‘el panga’ (percusión in minor), emilio del monte (timbales), carlos del puerto (double bass), franck emilio flynn (piano), barbaro torres (laud), orlando valle ‘maraca’ ) flute and arrangements), lazaro dagoberto gonzalez (solo violin), aramis, yumuri & juan-carlos estrada (background vocals), string section in flor di nha esperanza & perseguida : lazaro dagoberto gonzalez (violin and string arrangements), daniel rodríguez rodríguez (cello), julian corrales subida (first violin), gerardo rafael garcia huerta (second violin), string section, horns and flutes in carnaval de são vicente, roma criola, amor di mundo, nho antone escaderode & sorte: ariel mendez, augusto carreras, ana julia feria, hugo cruz, genardo garcia, ernesto dias, omar pereira, alioth castillo, mario fernandez, dania gutierrez, julian corrales, fresi garcia (violins), raymond morales, leonel hernandez, roberto dias, jose domínguez (alto violins), gladis la tamayo, arelis copello, alejandro rodríguez, daniel rodríguez (cellos), andreas grana, francisco valdez (double bass), ridel rodríguez, alberto meneses (trombones), antonio peñalver (bass trombones), enrique rodríguez, michel padron, emilio heredia (trumpets), raul valdez, zorime mercedes, manuel garcia, daniel peñalver (flutes), segundo mendosa, francisco santiago (Franch horns), Springs, horns and flutes arranged and conducted by jacques morelembaum.
Additional overdubs recorded at Studio abdala, havana (engineered by alan martinez de la cruz and evelio gay Salinas, and by Julio napoles sanchez and lexter fonseca villan, for the sessions conducted by jacques morelembaum
Produced by jose de silva for lusafrica.
Mastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering