iaiá - 2004
Iaiá - Mônica Salmaso
Considered by the critics and musicians to be the most representative voice of the new generation of popular music, Mônica Salmaso, from São Paulo, continues her impeccable discography with the CD, Iaiá, her first recording with Biscoito Fino and her fourth CD.
“Iaiá is a great coming together—of the musicians and composers, of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro—in a free way, sometimes simple, sometimes complex. Many songs were recorded live in the studio, and this makes this CD the most organic and most alive,” says Mônica.
The release of Iaiá comes out at a special moment in her career. “First, because this CD is my first one on the new label; second, because I haven´t recorded for four years, since I was doing shows outside of Brazil. I don´t know exactly how big my public is. I did a lot of shows sung with other people, and my work grew slowly. I think this CD could show a little of the size of the public I have up to now”.
Mônica has a sweet, penetrating voice with a unique and rare tone, and has the power to transform her interpretations into classics — a quality of great singers. She has a notable capacity to move easily from the erudite to the popular and not be limited to the label of a singer of only one genre.
In Iaiá, Mônica pays homage to Clementina de Jesus, with the song, Moro na Roça and most of the songs on the CD were taken from the repertoire of the project, Ponto in Comum, which she produced at SESC-SP in 2002 and 2003.
“There were eight different shows, all with invited artists and with a repertoire based on the work of these artists. In these encounters, I learned an incredible amount of music from the preparations until the final show”.
The new CD has a part with the musician, Rodolfo Stroeter, producer and musical co-director of the recording, with whom Mônica does four takes (Trampolim, Voadeira, Nem um Aí and Iaiá). “We work very well together. I think we see Brazil in a similar way and easily understand what each other is thinking about the work. It is very easy to work when there is such musical and creative affinity”.
In the repertoire, there are composers of different times, styles and regions, such as Dorival Caymmi, Maurício Carrilho, Paulo César Pinheiro, Jair do Cavaquinho, Xangô da Mangueira, Zagaia, Silvio Caldas, De Chocolat, Carusinho, Rodolfo Stroeter, Joyce, Vanessa da Mata, Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, José Miguel Wisnik, Chico Buarque and Tom Zé.
And Mônica chose some of the best and most admired musicians to accompany her. They are Paulo Bellinati, Robertinho Silva, Benjamim Taubkin, Rodolfo Stroeter, Toninho Ferragutti, Ari Colares, Teco Cardoso, Lui Coimbra, Caíto Marcondes, André Mehmari, Luca Raele and the quintet, Sujeito a Guincho, Maurício Carrilho, Luciana Rabello, Pedo Amorim, Jorginho do Pandeiro and Nailor Proveta Azevedo.
“Singing with different musicians with different backgrounds is a characteristic of my career. It is how I learn and have fun.”
|The Quintessential Voice of
Brazil: Mônica Salmaso’s Sparse and Colorful Interpretations
Mônica Salmaso, best known as an interpreter of a wide range of Brazilian music, releases her new CD Iaiá on World Village on November 9, 2004. Salmaso pays tribute to a vast array of Brazilian legends and songwriters, stepping across eras deftly while simultaneously creating a contemporary yet gentle mood. The word “iaiá” is a shortened version of “sinhá,” which is the way Brazilian slaves pronounced “senhora” (which means “missus” or “lady”). The release is accompanied by concerts in New York, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
“Mônica Salmaso has a gorgeous, quintessentially Brazilian voice: quietly lustrous and sustained, suffusing each liquid note with languid secrets,” wrote Jon Pareles of The New York Times (1/15/2002). “She is primarily a ballad singer, offering kindly vignettes of rural Indians and Afro-Brazilian carnival celebrators, of faithful Christians and a legendary imp. Her melodies often have the symmetry of folk tunes, but Ms. Salmaso relocates them to sparse modern settings, the better to rediscover their nuances.”
On a highlight of her latest album, these nuances and sparse settings are applied to “Meninas, Amanhã de Manhã,” a song by Tom Zé, the quirky and political songwriter who earned fame in America thanks to David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. A comparison of the two versions instantly demonstrates how Salmaso’s “fluent and beautifully colored instrument” (Billboard) can transform a recognizable song into something new.
On “Moro Na Roca,” Salmaso pays homage to Clementina de Jesus—the granddaughter of African slaves, a woman who began singing professionally late in life after serving as a housekeeper for over twenty years. Singing while washing clothes, this “rough diamond” of a singer preserved the lundus and jongos of the Angolan Bantu.
African-rooted beliefs of Brazil show through on two other songs on the album. “Estrela de Oxum” tells of a girl who while singing near a river awakens Oxum, the Goddess of the river, according to the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé. In contrast to the folkloric sound Salmaso brings to her rendition, the poem was originally faxed to her by author and album-producer Rodolfo Stroeter as soon as he wrote it. Candomblé’s Goddess of the sea, Iemanjá is invoked in Dorival Caymmi’s “É Doce Morrer No Mar” (“It’s Sweet to Die in the Sea”), about the families who wait for their fishermen fathers and sons who never return from the powerful and mysterious ocean.
Salmaso’s sweet sound traverses decades starting as early as the 1930s’ “Vinganca,” or “Revenge,’ a song about a musician whose wife leaves him for another singer and thus swears revenge on her. But upon finally discovering her at a party, he falls in love with her all over again and forgets his vengeance. “Cidade Lagoa”—which was made famous in the 1960s by Moreira da Silva—is a joke about the floods of Rio de Janeiro with the storyteller claiming he would boat to ferry beautiful women across the streets.
Salmaso rose to fame in 1999 when she won the Visa-mastercard-Eldorado Prize for best singer in Brazil among 1200 contestants nationwide. After releasing Voadeira—an album that features many of the same musicians as Iaiá—Salmaso was also named “best singer” by the Associacão Paulista dos Críticos de Arte, the association of the Brazilian press.
Whether putting her print on Tom Jobim songs—as she does on “Por Toda a Minha Vida” and “Sinhazinha,”—or on recent compositions like “Cabrochinha,” Mônica Salmaso’s tender interpretations leave us with a refreshed sense of Brazil’s musical history and yearning for more.
“Just barely into her 30s, the São Paulo singer is already high on the list of her country’s vocal artists. Her velvet-toned sound, focused intonation and understated but tenaciously lively rhythms are the hallmarks of a gifted, natural performer. Salmaso could easily have used those gifts in a typically high-voltage Brazilian setting. But she chooses, instead, to work with only a trio for accompaniment… framing her songs in spare, musically insightful settings.”
—Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times (9/29/2003)
|1. MORO NA ROÇA||D.P. adap. por Xangô da Mangueira e Zagaia|
|2. CABROCHINHA||Maurício Carrilho / Paulo César Pinheiro|
|3. ESTRELA DE OXUM||Rodolfo Stroeter / Joyce|
|4. MENINA AMANHÃ DE MANHÃ||Tom Zé / Perna|
|5. VINGANÇA||Francisco Mattoso / José Maria de Abreu|
|6. POR TODA A MINHA VIDA||Tom Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes|
|7. ASSUM BRANCO||José Miguel Wisnik|
|8. CIDADE LAGOA||Sebastião Fonseca / Cícero Nunes|
|9. DOCE NA FEIRA||Jair do Cavaquinho / Altair|
|10. SINHAZINHA - DESPERTAR||Chico Buarque|
|11. ONDE IR||Vanessa da Mata|
|12. É DOCE MORRER NO MAR||Dorival Caymmi|
|13. NA ALDEIA||Silvio Caldas / De Chocolat / Carusinho|
Comentários sobre as músicas:
13. NA ALDEIA
Gravado nos estúdios - YB (Cidade Lagoa): engenheiros de som - Gustavo Lenza, Carlos Cacá Lima; MOSH: engenheiros de som - Alberto Ranellucci, Paulo Penov; COMEP (Sinhazinha): engenheiro de som - Homero Lolito; SARAPUÍ: engenheiro de som - Gabriel Pinheiro, assistentes - Fernando Prado e Lucas Ariel.
Mixado no estúdio SARAPUÍ por Gabriel Pinheiro, Mônica Salmaso e Rodolfo Stroeter
Produção executiva - Pedro Seiler
UMA REALIZAÇÃO BISCOITO FINO