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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

José Peixoto Com Maria João

By Matt Cibula
Published April 3, 2007

Pele
Zona Música

Guitar player José Peixoto is one of the main building blocks of the forward-looking Portuguese band Madredeus; singer Maria João has built up a nice catalog of adventurous solo records that combine jazz, pop, fado, and a million other genres. So it is no surprise that this collaboration is bursting with creativity and weirdness. Peixoto’s pinpoint guitar work makes every track an adventure, especially because the band is so tiny: just him, Yuri Daniel on bass, and a percussionist known only as Vicky. João’s little-girl voice pops from playful to that full-on saudade that sounds best in Portuguese, and her gasping, hiccupping scat-singing at the end of “Sono Adormecido” is thrilling and otherworldly, and uniquely her own. Most of the best songs here benefit from the golden words of poet and playwright Tiago Torres da Silva, one of Portugal’s best young writers. Everything is lovely and strange, just like life.