(Metro Blue; two CDs)
Fado is a style of
Portuguese music that's been likened to a cross between opera and the blues,
and its uncanny blend comes through clearly on this live concert recording by
the exploratory chamber ensemble Madredeus. They use accordion, cello, acoustic
guitar, electric keyboards, and the ethereal singing of Teresa Salgueiro to
translate this moody folk music into a contemporary pop idiom influenced by
everyone from João Gilberto to Bob Marley.
This double-CD set captures the contemplative serenity and delicate
musicianship that has won the group immense popularity throughout Europe.
(Their spacious, haunting soundscapes are featured in Wim Wenders's latest
film, Lisbon Story.) It offers an alternative to the super-slick,
ultra-groovy dance music that dominates the world-music scene. Indeed, founder
and leader Pedro Ayres Magalhâes has said that in concert Madredeus
"wants to be peace itself" -- and that's precisely what songs like "O
ladrão" and "Cuidado" achieve.