Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Brazil - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 26 - 12/03/98

Various Artists
Casa da Mãe Joana
Blue Jackel

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit down with some of the greatest samba masters and jam all night long? Well, you can go to Rio de Janeiro and spend Friday and Saturday nights at a local bar named Casa de Mãe Joana (House of Mother Joanna) in the São Cristóvão neighborhood or you can listen to Casa da Mãe Joana CD, a historic release uniting some of the greatest samba experts ("bambas") of Rio de Janeiro's Velha Guarda do Samba (Old Guard of Samba).

Casa da Mãe Joana is a who's-who list of samba living legends. Zé Kéti, for example, is the composer of famous hits such as A Voz do Morro (The Voice of the Slums), Opinião (Opinion) and Máscara Negra (Black Mask). Roberto Moura once said that Zé Kéti is "a monument of a Rio [de Janeiro] that no longer exists." Zé Kéti is joined by Nadinho da Ilha in Zé Kéti's own Clementina de Jesus, who was a Brazilian legendary sambista. No samba collection would be complete without songs by Cartola, one of the cofounders of the great samba school of Mangueira. The medley of As Rosas Não Falam (Roses Don't Talk), O Mundo É Um Moinho (The World is a Windmill), and Sim (Yes) combines three of Cartola's best and most known compositions. Another Mangueira legend is Nelson Sargento. You can hear him and Wilson Moreira singing about happiness and their beloved Mangueira in Banho da Felicidade (Bath of Happiness), Morrendo de Saudade (Missing You to Death), and A Cara do Brasil (The Face of Brazil). Paulinho Marques' rendition of Doce de Côco (Coconut Treat) is a well-deserving tribute to Brazil's mandolin master and most celebrated choro composer, Jacob do Bandolim. This instrumental piece gives you the flavor of Rio de Janeiro's neighborhood bars and introduces you to the other gems in this collection. Guilherme de Brito, Monarco, Samuca de Mangueira, Casquinha, Helô, and others will complete your Rio experience in Casa da Mãe Joana.

An unpretentious CD, Casa da Mãe Joana delivers the most authentic Brazilian sambas with the voices that created them. This is a rare treat!

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