I listen to the CBC at home a lot, and the traditional Portuguese music, Fado, keeps coming up again and again. So I thought I’d sit down and give it a listen today.
Unfortunately, this was a bad day to research something on the internet since Wikipedia has gone dark to protest SOPA.
Luckily though, with a little snooping, I was able to remember that Cristina Branco is the artist I keep hearing interviewed when it comes to the resurgence of Fado music in the world.
It’s described as a mixture of jazz and the blues, mostly because of the melancholy nature of the songs. That might come across more if I actually spoke Portuguese though.
What does come across, at least from Cristina, is one magical voice. It’s rich, seductive and enthralling. This is the type of music that plays in my mind when I imagine cafes and cabarets in Paris before the war.
Sometimes I find it difficult to listen to things recorded in another language, but this is one of those occasions where the music really does transcend that.
If you have rdio, give her album Ulisses a try. It seemed to be the recording that kept popping up as the best introduction to Fado today.