Following JP's suggestion, the whole band went to see Tania Maria in Palaiseau yesterday.
Now, I had heard lots of praise about her in the late 80s, notably from Isabelle, who used to sing and play drums in one of my former bands, but I had not been enthused by what I had heard, so I went to the concert ready to be disappointed : after all, I've never liked latin music *that* much.
The stage layout brought the first surprise : instead of the traditional band we had expected to see, based on her previous work, were just a grand piano and a mammoth percussion set. The concert itself was indeed a revelation, although not really about Tania Maria herself.
Sure, she masters the arts of singing and playing the piano, but we all already knew that. The more intriguing parts came from the music as a whole, and from the percussionist, who left Dom (our drummer) dazzled and bewildered. I regret not having understood the guy's name, but his playing was briliant.
The piano part itself struck me for another reason : I had been expecting some standard latin fare, but the music was dense with constantly broken themes and counterthemes, leaving an impression of a very "learned" and "worked" music, although Tania Maria's art made it look as if everything was more or less improvised from deconstructed and reconstructed lines.
In spite of the overall latin tone, I couldn't help but think of the work of Darius Milhaud, which conveys the same impression of work and rework to complexify music as much as it can bear (unlike, say, Gabriel Fauré's work, which is only a bit earlier).
But it's only when I came back home to check on Milhaud that I noticed he had indeed created a set of brazilian dances "Saudades do Brasil". End of loop !