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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Ana Moura

By Ernest Barteldes
Published April 16, 2008

Para Além da Saudade
World Village

“Saudade” is a basically untranslatable Portuguese word that can be interpreted as “wishful yearning,” which is the main theme in all fado music. The fourth release of this Lisbon-based singer who has been one of the front-runners of the recent fado revival in Portugal, Para Além da Saudade is luxuriant and fluid. Moura sings about the streets of Lisbon and the sea (two recurring themes in the genre) and, naturally, about loves gained and lost. Among the highlights are “Vaga, No Azul Amplo Solta,” a poem by Fernando Pessoa set to music by Paxti Andion, who joins Moura here to sing her part of the duet in Spanish. But the best moment is “A Sos Com A Noite,” an intimate, touching ballad written by saxophonist Tim Ries, who plays a heartfelt Michael Brecker-inspired solo. Moura has come up with a cohesive selection of tunes that honor the tradition of fado, but she also peers into the genre’s future by welcoming different languages and instruments.