Midnight Jazz

Luiz Simas masters Brazilian jazz on ‘Cafuné’ | February 23, 2008

 

Reviewed by Vivian Fields

Luiz Simas/Cafuné

Luiz Simas – isn’t he famous? With a name that certainly rings a bell, even if you aren’t a fan of Brazilian pop, Simas certainly casts a superstar presence on Cafuné. This is a man who sounds like he has been filling arenas for decades, and he probably has; or, if he hasn’t yet, he certainly will. This is a firecracker of a record, exploding with jubilant Latin rhythms, richly textured jazz backbeats, and even elegant classical touches. The year is still new, but Cafuné already has my vote as among the year’s finest.

Sung entirely in Portuguese (English lyrics are included with the disc), Simas’ songs are stories, slices of life that show how universal the situations we engage in daily are. Reading the English translation, I was really surprised at what the words actually were; there is depth to these tunes. For example, “Cabelos Brancos” seems to be a prodigal son who has returned to his family after a long journey of self-discovery, only to realize that he has lost time with the people who loved him the most.

Musically, this is a spectacular record. “Sambinha do Chinés” injects Oriental flavors on playfully energetic piano. “Cabelos Brancos” is a river flow of elevating sax and laid-back piano, flute, and cello. “A Chama” combines Brazilian pop with classical atmospherics while “A Revolta dos Mares” is ice-cool lounge music.

http://www.luizsimas.com

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Posted in Brazilian Jazz

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About author

Julian Wilson, Editor, has been writing about different genres of music, from jazz to techno, for nearly two decades in print.

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