Dona Onete: Banzeiro (4 stars)

Dona Onete: Banzeiro

Second album from almost-octogenarian Brazilian singer is by turns rowdy and romantic

Brazilian singer-songwriter Dona Onete recorded her debut album, Feitiço Caboclo, at 73. Five years on, she returns with Banzeiro. Before she came to music, Onete was a teacher, folklorist and regional cultural secretary, and her love of Amazonian culture is reflected in Banzeiro's blend of rhythms from native Brazilians, African slaves and the Caribbean. The title track is a rowdy Amazonian take on ska, its percussive groove laced with greasy saxophones and guitars.

Onete's wonderfully raspy voice is softened by lisping Portuguese consonants, and she gives it her all over the galloping rhythms and rousing backing vocals of her band. The lusty salsa of 'Quando Eu Te Conheci' ('When I Met You') celebrates a lover's 'crazy way of making love', while the closing 'Sonhos De Adolescente' is a wistful and romantic piano ballad, its luscious strings, glistening guitars and bossa rhythms haunted by a ghostly radio signal.

Out now on Mais Em Discos

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