Dona Ivone Lara 

Nasci Pra Sonhar (Lusafrica)

In the early 1970s, when Brazilian bossa nova gave way to experimental rock 'n' roll and the glossy production of MPB (Música Popular Brasileira), a homegrown back-to-basics movement arose in response, bringing life back to the old acoustic samba scene. Various old-school sambistas had persisted over the years, writing theme songs for the annual carnival parades and playing music at back-porch jam sessions. But with the rise of dynamic new performers such as Clara Nunes, Beth Carvalho, and Alcione, samba canção (also called pagode) once again became a viable commercial style. One of the great composers of this period, Dona Ivone Lara, wrote dozens of hits, several of which crossed over into the swank MPB pop scene. Although a popular songwriter, Lara recorded sparingly, issuing only a handful of records during the heyday of pagode. Now, decades later, she returns with a gorgeous album that builds upon her classic sound, adding a rich, modern texture to some of her most famous compositions. The album is full of the gentle, driving percussion and gorgeous cavaquinho (mandolin) work that defined the '70s pagode sound. Although nearly eighty years old, Lara sings with the clarity and power of younger artists such as Maria Bethánia and Daniella Mercury, as well as the gentle, knowing grace of Caetano Veloso. Fans of Cape Verde's Cesaria Evora will find a kindred spirit in Ivone Lara, a singer with a similar buoyant melodic flair, infused with soulfulness and gravitas that few could hope to match.

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