Fans of the exceptionally beautiful and melancholy sounds of the Portuguese song form fado are being treated to an extraordinary new album this summer, with the Times Square Records release of Transparente, the breathtaking third album from international star fadista Mariza.
Recorded in Brazil and produced by Grammy-winning Jaques Morelenbaum, who has worked with Caetano Veloso, Tom Jobim, Sting and others, Transparente has already pleased music fans and critics across Europe, debuting at number 1 on the Portuguese music charts – the first time ever for a Fado album – and still holding that position since the release several weeks ago.
Mariza has also emerged as a new star with younger fans, many of whom flock to her live performances to see a fresh perspective on the fado style, both wardrobe and performance-wise.
Fado, the storytelling song form born out of the tiny bars of the “bairro alto” in Lisbon, Portugal, has a tradition in which poets and composers create songs for specific fadistas.
Oftentimes, a fadista either finds a poem and has it arranged to one of the 200 or so traditional fado melodies, or has someone compose new music for it.
On Transparente Mariza collaborated with several renowned poets such as Paulo de Carvalho, a well-known singer and composer in Portugal, and Paulo Abreu Lima, who composed the title track about her African and Portuguese heritage.
The song “Transparente” connects Mariza with her African birthplace, Mozambique, and fado’s African heritage, but does not deny her Portuguese side either.
“The poet who wrote it, Paulo Abreu Lima, all he knew was I came from Africa. It’s very simple, but the minute I read it, I thought, ‘This is me!’ And the way he finished it- ‘I was born to sing’- it’s a little crazy but it’s an autobiographical poem even if he didn’t know me.”
Transparente is the natural successor to Mariza’s first two records. “Fado Em Mim was my presentation,” explains Mariza. “It is the story from when I started to sing fado to the time I decided to do a record.
“Fado Curvo was an ‘upgrade;’ where I show more of my ideas about fado: what I like about poetry, opening my soul a little bit, a little bit of me. Transparente is closer to my sound; what I dream about music; what I dream about fado.”
Snippets of what the British critics are saying
“Portugal’s new queen of fado sings sweetly of the profoundest of sorrows. This is Mariza’s best album to date.”
London Independent, 4/24/05
“Her haunting, gently-passionate and sad-edged singing is as exquisite as ever.”
London Guardian, 4/23/05
“Mariza sounds more majestic than ever.”
London Sunday Times, 5/5/05
“For those who haven’t yet heard her, Transparente is a good place to start.”
London Evening Standard, 5/5/05
For more info on Mariza and tour dates:
Mariza-Transparente: North American Tour: Sept/Oct 2005
Sat 9/24: Vancouver, BC – Canada/Chan Center for the Performing Arts
Sun 9/25: Edmonton,AB – Canada/Winspeare Center
Tues 9/27: Toronto, ON – Canada /Massey Hall
Wed 9/28: Ottawa, ON – Canada/United Cathedral
Fri 9/30: Montreal, QX – Canada/Outremont Theater
Sat 10/1: Boston – Berklee Performing Arts Center
Tues 10/4: Hampton, VA – American Theater
Thurs 10/6: Washington DC – Lisner Auditorium
Fri 10/7: New York City, NY – Carnegie Hall
Sun 10/9: Philadelphia – Kimmel Center
Wed 10/12: Miami – Gusman Theater
Fri 10/14: Memphis, TN – Buckman Performing Arts Center
Sun 10/16: San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
Wed 10/19: Los Angeles, CA – Royce Hall-UCLA
Fri 10/21: Berkeley,CA – Zellerbach Auditorium
(Only San Francisco Area performance)