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Voice of the samba renaissance

Luiza Dionizio finally debuts in Devoção.

Daniella Thompson

9 February 2010

Although Devoção is her first album, Luiza Dionizio is hardly a beginner. Samba devotees, especially the regular patrons of Lapa’s music clubs, have been listening to her since the early 2000s. In 2003, Luiza began performing with the legendary sambista Wilson Moreira and the following year was said to be preparing a disc with his sambas. To everyone’s loss, that album never saw the light of day.

The singer is a native of the northern Rio suburb Vila da Penha, home of the famous church and site of the historic Festa da Penha. To this proud background, Luiza adds a devotion to the escola de samba Império Serrano, which brings to mind Dona Ivone Lara, with whom Luiza shared the stage a couple of years ago and whose voice vaguely resembles hers. Other titans with whom she performed include Elton Medeiros, Luiz Carlos da Vila, Moacyr Luz, and Fátima Guedes.

Well-versed in traditional samba from her days of attending rodas in Oswaldo Cruz and Cascadura during the 1980s, Luiza Dionizio sings the songs of established sambistas but also those of younger composers such as Luiz Carlos Máximo, Wanderley Monteiro, and Toninho Nascimento. And regardless of the age of their authors, Luiza chooses songs that haven’t been recorded to death by other vocalists. And she chooses wisely; the songs possess lyrical content in abundance, as well as melodic values. The resulting collection is fresh while exuding authenticity.

A word on the production. When the artistc direction of a debut CD is shared by the likes of Paulão 7 Cordas and Featima Guedes, even the most blasé listener should sit up and take notice. Paulão also acted as producer, musical director, and arranger, as well as participating in repertoire research.

The very attractively designed booklet provides song lyrics and complete technical information, including musician credits for each tracks. This is an album that couldn’t fail to please even the most discerning listener.

Hear Luiza Dionizio on her website.

Luiza Dionizio: Devoção
(Universal Music 60252711097; 2009) 46:42 min.

01. Pensando Bem (João de Aquino/Martinho da Vila)
02. Preceito (Toninho Geraes/Roque Ferreira)
03. Tempos Depois (Wanderley Monteiro/Nelson Rufino)
04. Velho Amigo (Paulo Cesar Pinheiro/Luiz Carlos Máximo)
05. Alma (Ratinho)
06. Vila do Meu Coração (Luiz Carlos Máximo/Luiz Carlos da Vila)
07. Ultimo Verso (Clóviz Beznos/Elton Medeiros)
08. Conceição da Praia (Luiz Carlos Máximo)
09. Mar da Jangada (Evandro Lima/Toninho Nascimento)
10. Braços de Lã (Luiz Carlos da Vila)
11. Antes Assim (Wilson Moreira)
12. Jardim das Oliveiras (Délcio Carvalho)
13. Oxum Ololá (Raimundo Santa Rosa)


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