Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Are there any artists in your collection that are personal favorites, but no one else you know seems to have heard of them? You know, they become so yours, that you don't even attempt the impulsive "you gotta hear this" push. Cesaria Evora is like that for me. After listening to the one album I had for a couple years, it turned out that one of my friends had heard of her, and because of who that friend was (and still is), and what their taste in music was, it seemed to validate my own fondness for Cesaria's music.

I'm not lying: This gives me goosebumps.

Cesaria Evora passed away about a week and a half ago, and it was a uncharacteristically solemn moment for me when I heard the news, as if a friend had died. Often referred to as "the barefoot diva," she sang for years in the night clubs of her native Cape Verde in relative...no, make that total obscurity, until someone offered her a trip to Paris to record an LP in the eighties. At that point she was 47, and her career finally kicked into high gear, spreading the sound of morna globally (much like Bob Marley's music became entry level reggae). Morna is often referred to a music of longing and sadness, and because of the disparate elements, it's really kind of hard to peg the sound. It's easier to say what it feels like, and to me it feels like an earthy version of Billie Holiday, at her saddest. I'm at a loss to explain why I think it's beautiful, or if it even really belongs here.

Cesaria Evora - Petit Pays mp3 at Digital Citrus
Cesaria Evora - Rotcha 'scribida mp3 at Baza
Cesaria Evora - Besame Mucho mp3 at Llaertsky.com
Cesaria Evora - Sodade mp3 at Star Maker Machine Note: Go there to get it, because they have a good concise bio. Plus they get extra special credit for being one of the very few blogs to note her passing.
Cesaria Evora - Official site
Cesaria Evora - Excellent bio at ArthurScount

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