Cesária Évora – “Mãe Carinhosa”
Cesária Évora had an exceptional career. As the world mourned her death in December 2011, everyone dug into her catalog of records, thinking they would never hear any new music from the “Barefoot Diva.” Her longtime collaborator and producer José da Silva was reluctant to release a posthumous album, but after witnessing the overwhelming tributes and sadness at Évora’s passing, he decided to take a look at some of the songs that didn’t make it onto any of her albums.
“I was flooded with ideas and projects after Cesária died. People suggested we do cover albums, fancy tributes, that kind of thing. I decided we should keep it simple, and give the world a new album of songs that, for various reasons, had never made it onto an album before.” – José da Silva
When Cesária Évora wasn’t touring, she was in the studio recording. Over the years, songs accumulated that never made the final version of records. When da Silva looked at the material available, he found most of it was nearly complete. By adding some subtle touches, da Silva put together a seamless listening experience with songs from different periods in Évora’s career. Those songs have been compiled on Cesária Évora’s final release, Mãe Carinhosa (Mother Affection), on Lusafrica.
It’s hard to believe these songs didn’t make it onto any of Évora’s albums. Each track on Mãe Carinhosa is exceptional. Sometimes posthumous albums sound a bit sparse as they were never fully realized, but this is an album the “Queen of Mourna” would have been proud of. Her exceptional voice shines on this record. Listen to “Mãe Carinhosa” above to hear the passion, warmth and tenderness in her voice. From her humble beginnings as a bar singer in Mindelo to selling out major venues and winning prestigious awards (she has a Grammy and a Legion de Honneur to her credit), Évora always sang for the people and 48 hours before her death, she was still receiving folks in her home in Mindelo, which was known for always having its doors open. This collection of mournas and coladeras is one of Évora’s best and serves as a strong finale to her illustrious life.