Monica Salmaso


Blue Jackel /Lightyear 54526 ­ 2

Monica Salmaso, vocals, musical direction; Paulo Bellinati, guitar, violin, arranger; Teco Cardoso, flute, bamboo flute; Marcos Suzano, guitar, percussion, pandeiro, cajon, cuica; Mario Gil, guitar, arranger, viola; Rodolfo Stroeter, bass, electric bass; Lelo Nazario, piano, keyboards; Caito Marcondes, percussion; Nailor "Proveta" Azevedo, clarinet, Toninho Ferragutti, accordian; Paula Freire, vioila, caipira; Benjamin Taubkin, piano, arranger; Eduardo Contrera Marcondes, percussion; Zezinho Pitoco, percussion; Webster Santos, Guitar, viola, viola da gamba, bandolin.

Let's face it; we would be looking more towards an afternoon concert in the Church Hall than a Jazz club for this sort of music. Not until track seven ­ "A Violeira" ­ the first piece to have an element of 'bounce' to it do we get one bar of syncopation; so don't hold your breath, this is not Jazz. Monica Salmesa is a tuneful, lyrical singer, an exponent of MPB ­ a common term for Brazilian popular music. She offers mainly slow ballads that are rich, brooding and sensitive. Her voice is a sheer delight; powerful, mystical, atmospheric ­ one could go on. Ably supported by guitars, bamboo flutes and other instruments that help weave an atmosphere through the purity of her tone. "Valsinha" opens to the delightfully spare clarinet of Nailor "Proveta" Azevedo and again in "Minha Polhoca" the clarinet plays freely against the voice of Salmesa; this is a lighter, livelier number. "Voadeira" won her the APCA award for best singer of the year, and the critics voted it the best female solo album of the year ­ which comes as no surprise. So if you have had a bad day at the office and your nerves are a little frayed, just play Monica ­ much healthier than a pill.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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