Mãe Carinhosa, set for release on March 15, reflects the "barefoot diva's" character: strong, poignant, dense, rich, eclectic and loyal. When not touring intensively, she was recording. Without meaning to, Evora collected a small store of unreleased tracks from her work in the studio. With many of the tracks nearly complete, it was more a matter of finding a unified, harmonious whole from pieces sometimes recorded decades apart.
With exquisite instrumentation behind her, Evora’s voice on Mãe Carinhosa sounds as fresh and melancholy, as sweet and heartfelt as ever. With songs by Evora’s favorite songwriters and with cameo appearances by musicians like Manu Dibango (who plays marimba on “Esperança”), Mãe Carinhosa draws on Evora’s love for mornas (the lush “Dor di Sodade”) and rollicking coladeras (“Tchon da Franca”), for wry lyrics (the almost goofy but instructive culinary mix up in “Cmê Catchôrr”) and deep emotion (the touching “Mãe Carinhosa”). The result captures Evora’s many facets, from the earthy and ribald to the sorrowful yet passionate.
Filled with tales of longing and distance—the call of Cape Verde to the many homesick migrants who have been forced to leave the islands—Mãe Carinhosa channels all of Evora’s toughness and tenderness. Fittingly, the album’s Cape Verdean Creole title means “Mother Affection."
(( Photo Credits: Joe Wuerfel For Lusafrica ))