After eight decades of triumph and tragedy, Brazilian protest singer Elza Soares is lauded as grande dame of samba and a powerful voice against repression and injustice relating to gender, race, sexual orientation and class. For her arresting 34th album The Woman at the End of the Qorld, Soares left her hometown of Rio de Janeiro to collaborate with key players from São Paulo’s samba sujo (‘dirty samba)’ scene.
Together, they made a masterpiece of 21st century Brazilian music that draws as much from avant-garde, rock, noise, jazz, soul, dub, funk as samba’s oral history. Soares’s savvy artistry has only become clearer and more innovative with age, as she pushes samba – the music that flows through her veins – in directions never imagined.
“79-year-old samba icon and Brazilian national hero Elza Soares offers a searing, surging fusion that combines Afro-Brazilian styles with wiry, dissonant strands of punk and noise-rock.” (Pitchfork)
“They mix samba with distorted rock and jazz influences on songs that deal with subjects including domestic violence and the death of a crack-addicted transvestite. Soares’s husky, crooned vocals dominate throughout. Surely the Brazilian album of the year.” (The Guardian)