Hers is the kind of voice that you’ve known since before your time here on earth. Its lilt captures you.
The first time I heard Tita Lima, the artist from São Paulo was on an American label. The straight-forward format of that release gave a firm foundation for her voice to rise above.
Tita’s latest release, Possibilidades brings forth a whole new realm of ideas, or as the title says, possibilities. Seamlessly mixing Brazilian music roots with contemporary influences, Tita’s work masterfully creates global music mashups. And this is what we’re looking for from musicians whose country has such a rich legacy as Brazil, which has brought the world the Tropicália movement and the Trama label, to name just two.
Tita’s warm, soulful undercurrents and hornlike phrasing have a jazz quality we haven’t heard for a long while. We have to give thanks to Mr. Garth Trindidad whose life, as Tita said, “is music.” The KCRW dee-jay was given a demo of Tita by one of her friends and, being the musical educator he is, put a track on the air. Garth’s colleague, Aaron Byrd, has been spinning some of Tita’s latest on his show.
One of the hardest working men in music, Grupo Fantasma’s Ardrian Quesada, laid down three tracks on Possibilidades and it’s a partnership that I hope will continue. One of the most moving songs I’ve heard in the past five years is Ocote Soul Sounds’ “Vendendo Saude e Fei,” a song written by Quesada and Martín Perna. Tita’s evocative phrasing is perfectly captured on that piece, with Q’s acoustic guitar play providing a driving rhythm upon which Tita’s voice floats like summer clouds over a peaceful ocean.
Titles include the dub “Mundo Pequeno”, the funky “Jardim”, the straight up sensual “Ciranda”, and “So O Comeco”, the one I’ve had on repeat for the past two weeks.
Given that one of her heroines is Nina Simone, we shouldn’t be surprised Tita took chances on this album and made it her own. It paid off. This is music that is classic and 21st century, subtle and powerful.