A Journey to Celebrate Freedom and Passion
The debut album of Telma Viale, Reconvexo, is a journey that surprises all those who do not yet know the talent of this singer. From the selection of songs, Viale imposes her style. She travels comfortably between classics such as “Garota de Ipanema” and “Como Vai Você” and also visits more recent productions, including three songs from the composer Adriana Calcanhotto. The bolero ''No Se Porque Te Quiero'' by Victor Manuel stands out. In it Telma offers a beautiful and emotional interpretation. Softly intense, she appears onto the scene elegantly, seducing while she takes ownership of the music, as if to be able to tell her own story. In "Garota de Ipanema", with an arrangement that takes us back to the classic atmosphere of the Bossa Nova of the 60's, her interpretation does not envy anything to the numerous interpretations by various artists that this song has already had. In either English or Portuguese, Telma Viale brings to the surface the sonority of a period marked by the sophistication of its music productions and by the introspection of its most important interpreters. In the most recent ones, "Agua Perrier", "Esquadros", and "Vambora" the recordings once again avoid mimics but imposes to Calcanhotto's music a different costume, where features the voice of this singer capable of whispering to our ears secrets never revealed before. In “Como Vai Você”, Telma gives us one of the most beautiful moments of the record. Softness and emotion meet again, in a blend capable of revealing the latin veins that run through the Brazilian musical universe. Singing some verses in Portuguese and in Spanish, once again this singer creates a magic atmosphere that reduces distances and brings traditions closer. In that sense the listener must carefully listen “E Daí e Daí” that transforms itself in the voice of Telma Viale in "samba-canção", with a rhythm a bit faster than usual, the music flirts with a bolero, as if the singer was courting at the same time the two musical genres. What fascinates is the natural manner in which this is done, without any effort. There is no doubt that it is a beautiful gift that the ears gratefully receive. The last song of the record is the one which gives the name to the album. In “Reconvexo”, accompanied only with a guitar and an orchestra of percussions, Telma assumes herself tribal, anthropophagic, as if digesting all the sonority landscapes through which she traveled. In the music one hears a great celebration of freedom and passion for life, traces present in every syllable of the record. Reconvexo is that, a record to be listened to with most attention, but mainly, by those who seek to celebrate freedom and passion in their own lives.
Rio de Janeiro, 2008
“The Life of the Artist” at Somethin’ Jazz Club
Telma Viale is not just another pretty face, but a very deep thinking and caring cabaret performer; a chanteuse on a mission: to introduce the most sensitive Brazilian music (especially the songs of Chico Buarque) to a sophisticated New York audience. As far as I could see, she succeeded because her warmth, intelligence, sincerity, and articulation worked for Telma Viale, and every bit of her well-chosen “patter” was in perfect English. So naturally, the audience was drawn into her story with songs, and the applause was always long and enthusiastic. This lovely woman is really interested in sharing her love of mostly current Brazilian culture and has spared no expense in showing us that she is serious. We were given a 12 page beautifully illustrated program with superb background information on the songwriters along with each lyric both in Portuguese and English! Her musicians are truly the band from heaven: Alejandro Avilés: a sax player; Eduardo Belo: a bass player, David Cordeiro: a guitarist and Marivaldo dos Santos: a percussionist. Each one is good-looking, exceptionally gifted, and totally there to support her as the main attraction. They all played with class and restraint, and the audience spontaneously applauded all their brief solo efforts too. I was grateful that the percussionist never once drowned out Telma and told him so! The guitarist, David Cordeiro, is also her arranger and the musical director, so nothing was haphazard, so it was an extremely professional introduction to a new Brazilian singer with a unique sound. She had an intensely intelligent and erudite Brazilian story to tell. The patter was in English, but none of the songs were in English. [Of course, we learned to love opera even if we only know menu Italian or curses we heard in Brooklyn.]. I hope there will be future shows in with American songs too, but that is not her immediate goal. Still, I had a great time, and I must add that she wore a gorgeous violet gown, had lovely auburn hair with a pink flower in it, a perfect figure [better than Jennifer Lopez], and a dazzling smile.
Amanda S. Stevenson
July 25, 2014