The former Portuguese colony of Cape Verde lies 600 kilometers off the Senegalese coast. Among the many local musical styles that can be heard on the island is the morna. The principle practitioner of this purportedly Portuguese-, Angolan-, and Brazilian-influenced musical form is Cesaria Evora. This CD documents two concerts morna master Evora gave in June of 1993 at the Olympia in Paris. With incredible ease and visceral strength, Evora sings song after song about love, loss, longing, and longevity. Minor-key and blues-sounding accompaniment is provided by a sextet on piano, harmonica, violin, guitar, clarinet, and cavaquinho (a four-string lute). A must-have for any morna fan, Cesaria Evora's A Live a L'Olympia highlights the good-natured "barefoot diva" at her best and in front of her devoted fans.
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AllMusic Review by John Vallier