FAME Review: Mia Doi Todd - Floresta
Mia Doi Todd - Floresta


Mia Doi Todd

City Zen Records - CTZ 2007

Available from iTunes.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

What began as an always intriguing set of multiplex vocal explorations in Mia Doi Todd's catalogue has recently become a matter of surrender to the sensual, and here very delicate, hedonisms of Braziliana as the singer takes her place among a vanguard of later generation chanteuses revivifying a strain which saw its fundament in the 50s among the West Coast Cool crowd. Along the way, many interpretations have arisen, and of course the Zoho label has come to be the absolute zenith in this regard, but Todd has chosen to tread backwards to folk sources and early days in order to better underscore the heart of the mode.

In that, then, everything is stripped down to, basically, just her voice and a guitar (Fabiano do Nascimento), though the bass is fairly pervasive and percussion enters in upon occasion. These atmospherics induce a sensuality missing in much of modern musics, albeit here restrained, perhaps seraphic, almost of faery dimensions by way of Edenic verdure and open skies. Nascimento's handling of his 7-string classically strung axe is elegantly energetic, understatedly propulsive, counterpoint to Todd's acquiline encanting, his the surfaces upon which she glides. When the percussives enter, as in Menina, Amanha de Manha, they serve as staccato interpolatives, punctuation, sidepocket incidentalisms sketching Nature's subtleties lest we miss them.

Floresta is a restatement of our grandfathers' and their grandfathers' musics, the wellsprings from which a slice of modernity was achieved. Revisiting such material refreshes our understanding of the way of things, the ground upon which we tread. Exceedingly easy on the ear, I find the CD to be as much a carefree softly flowing jaunt for adults as for children, the sort of music that beguiles young ears alongside parents'. I also can't help but perceive this collection of compositions by south of the border greats (Veloso, Jobim, etc.) as having been gently 'pirated' by Todd not only to soothe the public at large but also perhaps to encourage young women to relocate themselves in these troubled turbulent times.

Track List:

  • Mistérios (Joyce / Maestro)
  • Chovendo Na Roseira (Jobim / Lee)
  • Menina, Amanha de Manha (Tom Ze)
  • Luz do Sol (Caetano Veloso)
  • O Vento (Caymmi / Raskin)
  • Ewe (traditional)
  • Portal da Cor (Nascimento / Silveira)
  • Segredos Vegetais (Dercio Marques)
  • Preciso Me Encontrar (Candeia)
  • Cais (Nascimento / Bastos)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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