Words by Gonçalo Frota
Up to this point, António Zambujo had been gradually climbing a ladder that meant both more international recognition, establishing a firm and personal way of addressing fado music. Even if it was apparent from the very beginning that his voice was not vaguely interested in abiding by the rules of traditional fado, he spent years testing what his music could actually sound like. With Outro Sentido (2007) Zambujo started to show some consistency, but it was Guia (2010) and Quinto (2012) that finally tied together all the various influences upon his singing: Chet Baker, João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Chavela Vargas, Cesaria Evora, Amália Rodrigues and Maria Teresa Noronha, to name a few.
Rua da Emenda sounds as if Zambujo is moving sideways, taking the time to enjoy the place all that work took him to. It sounds effortless and it maintains a loose pace, maintaining the African, Brazilian and South American flavours without making a big fuss. It’s clear that he has proven himself and is claiming the right to lay back a little bit and sing like he would do among friends. He’s telling us that this time it’s just for fun. The fact that he’s so good is all the justification he needs.