Cumbancha doesn’t release a massive raft of talent but every time I come across something with their imprint I know that I will be in for a treat and Luisa Maita has not broken the chain – this album is simply and beautifully a joy to listen to.

The lady herself hails from Sao Paolo the Brazilian super-city and she has absorbed an incredible amount of music in her short years. Everything from Samba to Bossa Nova to torch songs and smoky jazz and all sung in a voice that I can only describe as ‘molten amber’. To listen to her is to get emotionally involved in the music as she lays her soul bare across the microphone.
When she lifts the tempo, as on ‘Desencabulada’, she generates involuntary dancing in the listener but on the more evenly paced material her purity of tone and whispered vocal has you crowding the speakers to get some more.

Not speaking a word or Portuguese means that I cannot describe the themes or the subject matter but it also leaves me in the happy position of being able to react only to the sounds that are placed before me and there really isn’t a moment on the entire album that doesn’t please. The band is quite superb, with a light touch to the music and every opportunity madew to give Luisa’s voice centre stage and she makes the most of it as her tone pleads and commands and entreats and soars.

She is the product of a musical family and she has been enveloped in Brazilian and Syrian and Eastern European from a very young age but the music is all her own and she has a sound that is uncommon in today’s overproduced and artificially ‘sexy’ musical world. This is natural and un-forced and one of the more enjoyable experiences I have had listening this year.

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