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(CABO VERDE, 2001) @ It's always interesting to see the teacher being influenced by the student. In Cuba and Brazil, many musicians regard Africa as their rhythmic mentor -- they don't hesitate to tell you that their rhythms owe a major debt to the rhythms of Africa.
When sambistas in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo or soneros in Havana speak of "Mama Africa, " they are gratefully acknowledging Africa's rhythmic influence on Latin America. And you could say that Latin America has returned the favor by influencing a lot of modern African pop; when you hear an African artist being influenced by Latin music, you know that the teacher (Africa) is quite interested in what the student (Latin America) has to say.
Fantcha, a native of Cape Verde, brings a strong Latin influence to Viva Mindelo. The charming singer is a protégé of the famous Cesaria Evora, who is arguably the Celia Cruz of Cape Verde. Evora's influence is quite strong on melodic, smooth offerings like "Sono de Um Cantor" and "Amdjer Cretcheu"; nonetheless, Fantcha is very much her own person. Even though Fantcha is a student and protégé of Evora, Viva Mindelo is hardly the work of an Evora clone.
It's easy to see why Fantcha, like other Cape Verdean artists, would appeal to lovers of Latin music; the Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian influence is impossible to miss on this rewarding CD. One also hears the influence of Portuguese fado on some of the material. You can think of Viva Mindelo as a musical flight to Cape Verde -- with stops in Salvador (the largest city in Bahia), Havana, and Lisbon along the way.
Review by Alex Henderson
Tracks1 Condição de Sofredor Chantre 4:03 2 Saïa de Travada Gonçalves 3:47 3 Amdjer Cretcheu Lima, Vieira 4:34 4 Sô Bô S Novas 5:36 5 Amiga Simas 3:10 6 Bico Fino É Só Pa Nhôs Pinheiro 4:35 7 Sono de Um Cantor Paris 4:05 8 Viva Mindelo Novas 5:45 9 Diva de Pé Nu Novas 6:21 10 Ftcham Oi Brito 3:51 11 Nha Coraçon Betuco 4:34 12 Manuel Pescador