In Brasil, among many other wonderful things, musician-families abound. Consider the Jobim, Caymmi and Assad… and you could probably find many other families where the art of music is part of genetics. Add to that the Saboya family, which comprise two that we know at this present time. The formidable musicianship of Antonio Adolfo (Saboya) has certainly been inherited by his vocalist-daughter, Carol. Her 2016 album, Carolina features some of her most piercingly beautiful renditions of songs that defines what is currently both popular and enduring about Brasilian and European music.
Carol Saboya has a glorious voice. Only a singing bird can do better. On Carolina she strives to create some of her most richly textured and lustrous-sounding portraits and other song-forms, and these will probably never sound more beautiful than in this outstanding release. The recording is intimate, as though we are seated in a salon few feet away from the performers – who therefore have no need to strain and ‘project’ as in a larger concert hall. Some of the quieter, more veiled passages in ‘Passarim’ for instance, sound quite magical, as do those in ‘Fragile’. Then to her absolute security of intonation, Carol Saboya brings an astonishing variety of vibrato, nuance and colour to carefully selected fare. Her readings of Brasilian and English music are, indeed distinctly and beautifully romantic.
Saboya is helped along the way by a group of musicians led, no doubt, by her father Antonio Adolfo and their playing too is gloriously crafted. The subtleties of each song are carefully steered away from mannerism. Musicians follow Saboya’s confident lead through sudden and dramatic drops in volume, such as we hear in ‘Olha, Maria’. All the same the inventive and emotional fullness of this masterpiece is gloriously conveyed. Every one of the musicians contributes to making this record utterly beckoning with their radiant resonance of timbre. And whether she is singing a Brasilian favourite or the music of the Beatles and Sting Carol Saboya is beautiful and articulate to all their cut and thrust, and there is never a dull moment in this recording of immediacy and bloom.
Track List: Passarim; 1 x 0; Senhoras do Amazons; Hello Goodbye; Avião; Fragile; A Felicidade; Olha, Maria; Faltando um Pedaço; Zanzibar.
Personnel: Carol Saboya: vocal; Antonio Adolfo: piano; Marcelo Martins: flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone; Leo Amuedo: guitars; Jorge Helder: double bass; Rafael Barata: drums, percussion; André Siqueira: percussion; Claudio Spiewak: acoustic guitar (9).