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World Music CD Reviews Africa

VARIOUS ARTISTS

By MARIE ELSIE ST. LÉGER
Published January 25, 2006

ROUGH GUIDE TO FADO: A TALE OF TWO CITIES
World Music Network

Called A Tale Of Two Cities after Lisbon and the lesser celebrated Coimbra (the urban centers where the form evolved), this latest fado collection includes older fadistas (Vincente De Câmara and his interpretation of “Dois Cantares,” the late Hermínia Silva’s “Fado Da Golegã”) as well as performers still to reach their artistic peak (Cristina Branco sings beautifully on “Fado Perdição”). A Tale is more that an introduction; beautifully compiled, it avoids defining just what fado is, instead giving its dedicated ambassadors a well-earned platform to highlight just how viable the form remains. Why not feature fado’s poetic beauty and seductive longing? They still ring clear on fado queen Amália Rodrigues’ “Fado Amália,” and youngster Joana Amendoeira does them justice on “Amor Mais Que Perfeito.” The range of the men impresses as well: Fernando Maurício’s rough-hewn “Confessando” counters the smoother António Bernardino, who weaves a troubadour’s spell on “Trova Do Vento Que Passa.”