Amélia Muge is a singer of great range and unique delivery, a voice that will, in time, be as highly rated as many of the Portuguese names that now have the title 'the great' attached to them, like Amália Rodrigues and more recently, Dulce Pontes. This is embarrassing praise for a young singer, to be sure, but I do not think it is misplaced. Muge sings with a deep and personal passion and a wise understanding of her own unique dynamic strengths and weaknesses, and she uses both to great effect. But above and beyond her skill as a vocalist is her range as aa arranger and interpreter. Born in Mozambique and well traveled throughout Europe, with experience on the concert stage and in the theater, she has acquired a world vision that is reflected in the music on Taco a Taco.
Taco a Taco is a recording with a deep sense of history, from the fado and folk of Portugal to the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald, yet it is defiantly contemporary, innovative and worldly wise. In the tradition of the tropicalismo of Brazil, she pirates sounds from Africa, The Caribbean and Europe to create her palette. She can take a sweet fado and add kora and clarinet; metallophones and strings echo African folk and European classical; harsh percussion and voice create an ambience that borders on the avant garde, yet is always centered on the crystalline vocal line; a lively cello and reed ensemble generates humor and breezy abandon. Amélia Muge is poised for an international recognition, I think, and 'taco a taco' (little by little) she is creating a vocabulary for continental Portuguese that is in keeping with the innovators of Brazil in this last half century. This is a talent to watch. - Cliff Furnald
This recording is not readily available in the US.
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