Di Alma (From the Soul) is an an album of finely crafted love songs that combines rhythmic spark with strong vocals by Teofilo Chantre. The rhythms are a mix of his native Cape Verdean dance forms and Brazilian Samba. The result is more than the sum of its parts and makes for relaxing listening as well as enough verve for romantic dancing. All of the lyrics (Portuguese and French in the liner booklet), music and arrangements are by Teofilo Chantre. "Tonte Vontade" (I want you so much) starts with acoustic guitar and reverberating drums and then eases into a repeating, hypnotic, slow dance rhythm reminiscent of Cuban danzon or rumba. The track is also on Tinder's The Spirit of Cape Verde. This is Cape Verdean blues at its best. The song's fake ending transitions to a percussive finale as intriguing as the song's beginning. The accompanying musicians are all masters who weave a beautiful backing tapestry along with the lead vocals. The cavaquinho and accordion playing transport you to another land. The great Bau is on cavaquinho on the first track. Max Cilla, a renowned flutist from Martinique, blows some hot flute on "Ilusao di Fuga" (Illusion of Flight), a tight spicy samba that speaks of evasion, fantasy, the abyss and other things that make life tricky. An album from the soul and one that will continue to get better upon each listening.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Romano