Mariza, Terra (EMI)

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Mariza: Beijo de Saudade (with Tito Paris)
Mariza, Terra (EMI)

As the most striking and internationally recognizable singer of Portuguese fado -- the close-cropped blond hair really, isn't it? -- Mariza seemed to arrive on the world music scene with almost alarming suddness about five years ago. The fact is of course she had been touring regularly and building an audience so by the time she won awards all over the place in 2003-2005 she was well established.

It was her 2007 Womad appearance that brought her to wider attention in New Zealand.

Frankly I preferred the Katia Guerreiro album (see tag) to Mariza's Transparente (2005) but this dramatic, emotional and sometimes quite moving album (albeit in Portuguese, but you kind of get it) is a winner all the way.

Guests help offer musical diversity too: Cape Verde singer Tito Paris brings a quivering melancholy to Beijo de Saudade, Brazilian pianist Ivan Lins adds colour on As Guitarras, there are gentle flamenco guitars, Sting's guitarist Dominic Miller drops by for a few tracks . . .

The result is polished by still aching as Mariza sings of heartache, pain, the loss of love . . . All the fado bases are covered.

This is something special, particularly by winelight. 

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