Fado and its history have always been embodied by exceptional female interpreters with extremely strong personalities. One vocalist who has undoubtedly played an important role in the recent and somewhat unexpected renaissance of the genre is BEVINDA, commonly held to be the greatest “fado exile” partly on account of her early move to Paris but mainly for the different outside influences she has managed to insinuate into the tradition, modifications which have helped to save it from stale repetition.
Outubro is BÉVINDA’s tenth album in what has already been a remarkable artistic career, a live recording of a concert the singer gave in Riccione in January 2006 as part of the Suoni migranti festival. She’s accompaned here by an excellent band (Philippe de Sousa on Portuguese guitar, Mathias Duplessy on classical guitar, Philippe Foch on tablas and percussion, Nicolas Gorge on drums, Côme Aguiar on bass) responsive to her every move and twist of invention. As well as being a great vocalist, BEVINDA is also a talented songstress in her own right. All but two of the songs in the set (O grito di Amalia Rodrigues and Carlos Gonçalves, and Multidoes inspired by Charles Baudelaire) are her own work, often written in collaboration with members of her band. The songs are solidly constructed yet easily accessible, dynamic in their development and profound in lyrical content, and go beyond the classical fado style through the introduction of sounds from the Mediterranean region (Spain and Greece in particular) and places as far as distant India, interweaving a variety of musical paths into a uniquely satisfying whole. Outubro beneifits greatly from its live setting and the brio BEVINDA and her band bring to the whole performance once more confirm the originality of a singer-songwriter whose star is very definitely in the ascendant.