...The power and naturalness of her onstage bearing tends to save her from any...
Martin Longley 2007
Increasing status means that the venues that Portuguese fado singer Mariza inhabits have become increasingly grandiose; ending up with the Royal Albert Hall during the 2006 Atlantic Waves festival.
This live set was recorded down in Portugal, outdoors in front of what looks like a massive gathering, with Mariza's regular band surrounded by the Sinfonietta De Lisboa. The Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum conducts, cloaking the normally folksy fado core with a lushly romantic string sweetness.
Sometimes it seems as though Mariza's presentation is becoming increasingly smooth, but the power and naturalness of her onstage bearing tends to save her from any accusations of blandness.
Nevertheless, this is a potential trap for the future.
This disc acts as a prime document of Mariza's recent stage set, and there's a complementary DVD available too. She clearly relishes the opportunity for an epic sweep, and it's good to hear the Portuguese guitar of Luis Guerreiro refusing to get lost in the mix. The stiff-backed clap-along of the audience can become a tad annoying, though.
"Duas Lagrimas De Orvalho" represents the height of syllable-rolling opportunity, with Mariza tripping and twisting, drawing out words and swishing them around with superb control.
Typically, the concert climaxes with "Primavera", her favourite song, and "O Gente Da Minha Terra", a classic Amalia Rodrigues number.