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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Cesaria Evora

By Pilar Alvarez
Published August 1, 2005

Cafe Atlantico
RCA

Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora is known worldwide as "the barefoot diva" and has been a tireless musical ambassador for her African island home. After introducing the world to Cape Verde's haunting morna ballads on such acclaimed international releases as Miss Perfumado and Cesaria Evora, she took on two of the musical powerhouses that have done much to influence the Afro-Atlantic musical dialogue: Brazil and Cuba. Cafe Atlantico was conceived as a tribute to her hometown of Mindelo, and replicates the manifold foreign musical styles which the port's sailors brought home with them. Evora lends her rich, melancholy voice to a gorgeous grab-bag of boleros and bossa novas, sambas and danzones--I all of them shot through with her signature, soulful sodade.