LISBOA INTIMA REVIEWS
Tradisom is an important Portuguese Music label, publisher and blog focusing on traditional music, widely distributed throughout Portugal and on line.
Record review, January 17, 2016
[Translated from the Portuguese]
This is not to mention of course the great flute star Susan, who seduces everyone with her brilliant performance and who managed to make Verdes Anos ("Green Years"), the duo with Pedro Jóia, one of the two magical moments of the album. The other is undoubtedly the meeting of two monsters of the music - Carlos do Carmo and Ivan Lins, that presented us with a brilliant and unique duet (the first ever recorded between Carlos and Ivan), "Fado do Ultramar" ... The final result of this true cauldron of musical delicacies is an Instrumentally irreproachable disc (great production and arrangements by the magician Robert Sadin), sonorously engaging and vocally seductive, where it also worth mentioning the excellent and judicious choice of repertory, in all titles really unassailable.
Lisboa is, we all know, a multifaceted capital where the multiplicity of sound mixes with myriad colors of astonishing brilliance (see the views of some of the world's most respected photographers) and this was reflected in Susan's thematic choices that absorbed all these predicates to merge them with her music. The result in an album of singular and infinite beauty that makes the capital of the seven hills, to the sound of this project, even more beautiful, more seductive, more refined, more incomparable, more dazzling and perhaps even more ... intimate! CD Ampla Portugal.
"Lisboa Intima" , with a flute as its guide, is perfectly executed with versatility and elegance by the Grammy winning principal flutist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Susan Palma-Nidel. The album is based on Portuguese songs from Fado to traditional music (Trás-os-Montes and Beira-Baixa). Also, as if all this were not enough, the project "Lisboa Intima" features two major Portuguese voices, the "prince" Carlos do Carmo and the beloved Né Ladeiras in a return we must celebrate after a hibernation which inexplicably lasted for a number of years and deprived us of an enchanting voice and one of the women who best sings in Portugal, as well as another third voice from Brasil - Ivan Lins, famous and celebrated singer-songwriter, author of international successes such as Comecar de Novo ("Starting Over), Desesperar Jamais ("Never despair") Tempo Novo ("New Time") and Somos Todos Iguais Nesta Noite ("We are all the same tonight").
The guest instrumentalists are truly extraordinary and exemplary . They demonstrate their art, mastery and talents through the (unfortunately only) eight tracks of the album. From the great Jose Manuel Neto (Portuguese guitar of fado) to the master of the cavaquinho, Júlio Pereira, Carlos Manuel Proença (guitar of fado), the incomparable and distinguished Pedro Jóia (guitar), Carlos Barretto (bass) and Mário Delgado (guitar).
Interview with Susan Palma-Nidel by Nuno Pacheco, in Publico, Portugal’s leading newspaper, November 13, 2016
By Nuno Pacheco
Venerated American flute player recorded in Portugal with Carlos do Carmo, Né Ladeiras, Ivan Lins and Júlio Pereira. Translated from the Portuguese.
Can a chance visit to a bookstore lead to a recording with great musicians? It can, and the case of Lisboa Íntima is a good example of this. In 2014, flutist Susan Palma-Nidel (from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and her husband, lawyer and producer Richard O. Nidel, spent a week in Lisbon after attending a wedding in the Canaries. Friends in Lisboa took them to the Livaria Ler Devagar, a bookstore in Alcântara, and they were in awe of the space, bought many records, which they brought back to New York. Susan explains: "We have a large collection of records from around the world and we started to listen to Portuguese records many years ago, but marveled at what we heard from Ler Devagar saying to each other, “what is this?" Richard had already introduced Susan to many names of Brazilian Artists, music they love, and in 2012 she recorded her album Elegante, with musicians such as Branford Marsalis and Ivan Lins. In November of 2014 Ivan Lins suggested to Carlos do Carmo that he contact Richard when he (Carlos) was in New York. At this moment, Susan and Richard had fallen in love with the Carlos do Carmo albums they bought in Lisbon and the pieces of the puzzle began to come together. "We knew they were friends for many years but soon learned that they had never recorded together, so Ivan challenged us to do that, with him, here in Lisbon."
And it was like the history of “Stone Soup” **. What began as an unprecedented duet turned into a passionate album with an extraordinary roster of musicians: Né Ladeiras, Júlio Pereira, José Manuel Neto, Pedro Jóia, Carlos Barretto, Ruca Rebordão, Carlos Manuel Proença, Mário Delgado, Miguel Veras, João Moreira, Nuno Abreu, Chris Wells, Jose Salgueiro. "She (Né Ladeiras) is a wonderful singer," says Susan. "We heard that she had stopped singing for several years, but we were able to find her. We contacted her, and she eventually agreed to record. We have since become very close friends, even treating ourselves as sisters."
On the album she sings Ó que Estriga Tenho Na Roca and José Embala O Menino, popular themes from Trás-os-Montes and Beira Baixa. But there are also themes from Amália (Alfama), Carlos Paredes (Verdes Anos), Júlio Pereira (Ler Devagar), Ivan Lins (Iluminados), José Mário Branco (Fado Ultramar) with music by Ivan, the duet he and Carlos do Carmo sing on the disc. The multifaceted Robert Sadin, winner of three Grammys, did the production and arrangements. Executive production is by Richard O. Nidel, co-mentor of this work.
“It is very interesting that a small country has so many regions and such interesting musical genres in those regions, besides fado. And I like them all!" Says Susan. The transition from classical to popular music has been a stimulus for her. "There are many similarities. There are, in both, sounds and harmonies that touch our hearts. When I met Pablo Ziegler many years ago, [Astor] Piazzolla's pianist for ten years, we became friends and he composed pieces of Tango-Jazz for Orpheus. I realized how much I enjoyed the freedom to be able to go beyond the limits of classical music.” After Elegante, Lisboa Íntima is another step in this path, which does not separate her from the territory where she has gained renown and prestige on a world scale. Richard says: "This was a labor of love and a fantastic experience. We love the city (Lisboa), and we have made lots of friends here." Susan adds: "Some people ask me: why not, for example, a Coimbra Íntima? Or a Porto Íntima? My answer is this is just a start. There's a lot to do yet."
**A long story based on a folk tale popular in many cultures, in Portugal today it is essentially a great bean and sausage soup from the city of Almeirim in the Ribatejo region, but the gist of the reference is something great made from nothing.
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On November 13th at Ler Devagar Bookstore, José Manuel Neto, Mário Delgado, Pedro Jóia, Carlos Barretto, Ruca Rebordão and Né Ladeiras took to the stage together with Susan Palma-Nidel at Livraria Ler Devagar on November 13, 2016. They treated us with songs from the album "Lisboa Intima", the result of the strong connection between the extraordinary American flute player Susan Palma-Nidel and Portugal, with traditional Portuguese music and other unforgettable compositions of Lusophonia music. The professional and personal relationship between the musicians presented the art in a way we were privileged to witness.
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