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coverpic flag Brazil - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 5 - 03/24/97

Maria Bethânia
Âmbar
MetroBlue (worldwide) or EMI Brasil

Released in Brazil last fall, Maria Bethânia's Âmbar (Amber) has finally received world-wide distribution through MetroBlue. This CD marked Bethânia's 50th birthday and followed her two previous best-selling CDs and video production of a Canecão show in Rio. Âmbar brings Maria Bethânia Vianna Telles Veloso (Bethânia's real name) doing what she does best: heartfelt renditions of both classic and contemporary Brazilian Popular Music (Música Popular Brasileira, MPB). Since her first hit, Carcará (1965), Bethânia has evolved tremendously both as a singer and stage performer. In her 1973 release, Drama, Luz Da Noite (Drama, Light of the Night), Bethânia sang Brazilian classics and introduced Portuguese and Brazilian poetry and prose to many of her fans: Antônio Bivar, Isabel Câmara, Luiz Carlos Lacerda, Clarice Lispector, and the incomparable Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. In her 1974 follow-up show and record, A Cena Muda (The Silent Scene), Bethânia continued a similar path singing Gonzaguinha, Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, Paulinho da Viola, and Suely Costa (on poems by Fernando Pessoa and Cecília Meireles). Drama and music were constantly being mixed in Bethânia's releases. Bethânia was as innovative then as she is now. The power of her stage presence and voice delivered her songs like no other Brazilian performer has ever done.

In this latest release, Bethânia is exploring the new music of Brazil with Adriana Calcanhoto, Chico César, and Carlinhos Brown at the same time that she sings classics by Sílvio Caldas, Orestes Barbosa, Ary Barroso, and Vicente Paiva. Of course, familiar names, such as her brother Caetano Veloso, Suely Costa, and the poetry of Manuel Bandeira complete this full circle. Whether singing the "bluesy" title track by Adriana Calcanhoto, the mystic Chico César Invocação (Invocation), or a traditional samba by Ary Barroso in a duet with Brazil's great Chico Buarque, Maria Bethânia is artistry at its best! With both simple and elaborate arrangements -- not overdone -- and perfect delivery, Bethânia's songs take the listener on a musical journey through the new and the classic in Brazilian song. The CD liner notes include lyrics and beautiful photos of Bethânia.

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