Tuesday, November 6, 2007


So, have you heard of Fado? I hadn't heard of it until several years ago when I was introduced to the music of Mariza. I don't remember the introduction itself. The only thing I do remember is that whoever I was listening to at the time described Fado as the Portuguese Blues.

This comparison is apt in capturing a certain essence of Fado for American audiences, but in the process it falls far short of really conveying the power of the art form. But then, most prose fails when attempting to convey the power of music.

The reason I bring this up is that a little while ago David Letterman had Mariza on as the musical guest. Up to that point, I had only heard Mariza from her CDs and hadn't seen her perform. She sang only one song for Letterman, but what a performance! Normally YouTube makes a poor first introduction for musical talent, but in this case the transfer is good, and Mariza's performance is powerful enough that it shines through the obscuring veil of aggressive compression. (For those of you using a feed reader that doesn't show the embedded video, see here.)

When I watched that on TV, I literally got goose bumps around 2:49. It still moves me even though I've watched it several times now. I hope I can catch a live performance sometime.

I have the CD whose cover you see above. I know she has newer music, but I have yet to listen to it (I will now that I've been reminded). However, if you want to give her version of Fado a try, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anything from "Fado Em Mim". Also, it appears that Mariza's music is available on both iTunes and as an MP3 download from Amazon. Pick a track and see what you think. If you insist on a suggestion, try "Barco Negro".


Anonymous said...

oh man! that was amazing...:) How haunting her voice is and when she sings without any guitar in the background...WOW!!!

I have to say that was almost absolute perfection.

Thank you for sharing...:)

Anonymous said...

okay, I got curious on the other track that you suggested...Barco Negro. And can I say that this one is even better. Her voice pierces you and I don't know what she is saying, but it sounds like a lovely story and it has you on the edge of your seat wanting to see what happens in the end.

Charles said...

Great! I'm glad you liked it. I really did find that video amazing. I hope it stays up on YouTube for a while.