Mart’nália, Mart’nália em Berlim ao vivo

Peter Margasak

By Peter Margasak

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The indelible grooves of pure samba mixed with contemporary pop impulses.

Rio de Janeiro's Mart'nália has emerged as one of the strongest and most appealing new voices of the samba. It shouldn't be surprising, given her genes: she's the daughter of the great Martinho da Vila. This superb live album was made in 2006 in Berlin, and it vividly demonstrates how the singer navigates tradition while drawing savvily upon contemporary pop impulses. She doesn't pander — the music is all acoustic and frolics over the indelible grooves of pure samba. Her original tunes, as well as songs by colleagues like Zelia Duncan (the current singer for Os Mutantes, who makes a cameo on “Benditas” here) and Ana Carolina, tackle contemporary themes and subtly borrow melodic ideas from outside the samba tradition. But tradition is clearly where her heart belongs and the personality she brings to tunes by folks like her father, Djavan, Caetano Veloso and Baden Powell leaves no doubt about her desire to advance the samba on her own terms.