Thursday, May 4, 2017

Olivia Byington - 1983 - Identidad

Olivia Byington 

01. Fantasia (Chico Buarque)
02. Procissão (Gilberto Gil)
03. Yo Digo Que Las Estrellas (Silvio Rodrigues)
04. Mãe (Sergio Ricardo / Glauber Rocha)
05. Soy Loco Por Ti, América (Gilberto Gil / Capinan)
06. Perla Marina (Sindo Garay)
07. Mi Son Entero (Juan Formell)
08. Como Una Campana (Donato Poveda)
09. De Que Callada Manera (Pablo Milanés / Nicolás Guillén)
10. San Vicente (Milton Nascimento / Fernando Brant)
11. Se Todos Fossem Iguais a Você (Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)

Olívia started her career as a vocalist with the rock band, Antena Coletiva, with Jacques Morelembaum, at the end of the 1970s. She was immediately considered by the critic Sérgio Cabral as the "best singer of her generation". Her first record, "Corra o Risco", was recorded in 1978 with "Barca do Sol." The following year, Olívia reached the top of the hit parade with the song "Lady Jane".

Her third album, recorded in Cuba on the invitation of Silvio Rodríguez, broadened her horizons internationally. Olívia arrived in Lisbon in 1994, after many albums, shows, music... There, she performed in memorable concerts at the Maria Matos Theater, captivating an audience as yet unfamiliar with her work with her impressive vocal range and singing. Her style is so popular that it impresses with its sophistication, so erudite that it swiftly touches everybody's hearts.

The public and critics responded with such surprise that the following year Olívia went to Belém to perform in the great hall at the city's cultural center. She returned to Portugal for Expo 98 in Évora, Monsaraz, and Aveiro. Recently she performed at Lisbon's Aula Magna, and at Porto's Coliseu with the great Egberto Gismonti. As a matter of fact, Olívia has always been in the company of great names, such as Tom Jobim, Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Djavan, Wagner Tiso, Radamés Gnatali, and João Carlos de Assis Brasil.

In her career, Olívia has released several albums: Anjo vadio (1980), Identidad (1981), Para Viver um Grande Amor (1983), Música (1984), Encontro (1984) (Chiquinha Gonzaga Award), Melodia Sentimental (1986), Olivia Byington and João Carlos Assis Brasil (1990) and A Dama do Encantado (1997), the former in tribute to Aracy de Almeida. In 2003, she released Canção do Amor Demais, in which she re-recorded an anthological album first recorded in 1958 by Elizeth Cardoso, featuring songs by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes.

In 2005, a meeting with the Portuguese poet Tiago Torres da Silva in Rio de Janeiro drove Olívia back to songwriting, which she missed greatly. Having played the guitar from the age of eight, Olívia easily picked up the lyrics of "Areias do Leblon," and brought to the song all the sensuality and music of the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. After this song, others followed, many with the lyrics written by the Portuguese writer, but also songs written by other poets, such as Geraldo Carneiro, Cacaso, and Marcelo Pires.

Songs such as these, so characteristic of her nature, have created the most confessional album of her career, a record in which Olívia not only assumes the role of a great singer, one that the critics and the public are following attentively in Brazil, but as a great song writer, able to create harmonically rich songs, with exceptionally original melodies.

The work being intimate, Byington surrounded herself with friends. She invited Leandro Braga to do part of the musical arrangement, and also the Portuguese Pedro Jóia, who played with her in "Clarão" and "Balada do Avesso", and many other great musicians like Marco Pereira, João Lyra, Zero and Zé Canuto.

She also wanted to share the singing, so she shared the microphone with Seu Jorge in "Na Ponta dos Pés," and with the great singer Maria Bethânia in "Mãe Quelé," a homage to Clementina de Jesus, a deceased Afro-Brazilian singer. Olivia Byington the record has the same characteristics as "Olivia Byington" the singer. The extraordinary sophistication of both record and artist makes these songs originally popular and delightfully erudite.

Brazilian Album Cover

This is Olivia Byington – Identidad (1982), for Egrem / Som Livre, recorded between July and August of 1982 in the city of Havana, Cuba. According with Olivia Byington liner notes, she went to Cuba on year earlier to perform at Festival de Varadero, being invited to record this album one year later. I’m not sure about the availability of personnel information for this session; the album only brings references to the participation of Pablo Milanes and Frank Fernandez, Emiliano Salvador, Jose Bornot and Poveda as arrangers. The repertoire features a blend of Brazilian and songs with lyrics in Spanish. and produced by Silvio Rodriguez

As usual with Cuban releases no info on musicians playing on the album etc etc... probably members of Pablo Milanes backing band and/or Afrocuba, both Silvio and Pablo can be heard doing back up vocals here and there... but if anyone has any detailed session info please share it with us!

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