World Village/ Nordesia (worldvillagemusic.com)
It's -6° F in Cleveland as I write this. Eterno Navegar gave me a little over an hour's holiday from the bone-biting cold here on America's North Coast. It's a breezy collection (just try writing a review of an Uxia CD without using the word breezy; it can't be done) of beach-warmed songs with elegantly light-handed arrangements. A little samba, a little fado, a little tango, a little cabaret, all wrapped in gauzy layers of piano, guitar, accordion, muted trumpet, with a little bagpipe and hurdy-gurdy thrown in for color.
The Galician chanteuse has been knocking around for over 20 years, and she knows her way around a song. She keeps things playful and full of delightful surprises. Each track here is a little gem. "Unha noite na eira do trigo" is a loopy waltz with a hint of cabaret and tasteful touches of theremin. "Alalá de Muxia" has the tender restraint of a lullaby, with vocals that go barely above a whisper and gentle piano, cello, and soprano sax. "A lira" is a traditional song from the Azores with a simple, almost child-like melody. It starts out quietly with just a little piano, and then builds to a big sing-along with a full chorus, bagpipe, and a Tom Waits sound-alike on harmony vocals.
The packaging is as beautiful as the music, with some gorgeous and inspired seashore photography by Quim Farinha. Rarely are the aural and the visual so charmingly paired. You'll want to dig your toes into this one like warm sand. - Peggy Latkovich
CD available from cdRoots
Read more about Uxia's past recordings in RootsWorld