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Ana Moura

Saudade is a Portuguese word that is untranslatable but is best interpreted as wishful yearning felt toward someone who is far away or a place that a person hopes someday to return to. It's the main theme of Lisbon-based singer Ana Moura's fourth release, Para Além da Saudade, a disc that showcases why she's a key figure in the fado revival that's sweeping her native land. In a voice that's rich and fluid, she sings about the streets of Lisbon and the sea (two recurring themes in the genre) and also of loves gained and lost. Among the highlights are "Vaga, No Azul Amplo Solta" ("Vague, Lost in the Ample Blue"), a poem by Fernando Pessoa set to music by Spanish songwriter Paxti Andion, who duets, in Spanish, with Moura. The original "Fado das Horas Incertas" ("Uncertain Hours Fado") is a traditional-sounding tune about someone who wastes away in loneliness as she grieves over the end of a love affair. The best moment, however, is "A Sos Com a Noite" ("Alone in the Night"), a touching ballad written by saxophonist Tim Ries. He also plays a heartfelt Michael Brecker-inspired solo halfway through the tune — a rare occasion in this kind of genre. With Para Além da Saudade, Moura has come up with a cohesive selection of tunes that honor the tradition of fado while also looking into the genre's future by welcoming different styles, languages, and instruments into the mix.


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