Deodato Siquir review by Daniel Brown/ MONDOMIX.COM Born on October 31st 1975, this gifted drummer-vocalist has taken Mozambican rhythms and styles and adapted them to modern jazz and rock tempos. Deodato Siquir trained as a primary school teacher but his passion for percussions, which began in 1988, established him as one of Mozambique's most promising drummers. After setting up several bands in Maputo, he emigrated to Sweden in 2001. Since then, Siquir has performed at the side of several established Scandinavian artists. In late 2007, he released his first solo album Balanço. Deodato Siquir took his time before offering his followers a glimpse of his talents as a composer and arranger. And the rich texture of Siquir's voice is just one of many qualities he reveals in a debut album that underlines the maturity of this migrant from Mozambique. At 32, he shows in Balanço just how much he has picked up in the last six years in Sweden. There is an undeniable smoothness with which he allies Mozambique's marrabenta, muganda and muthimba rhythms with sophisticated jazz licks offered up by trumpet-player Luis Varona, Jakob Dinesen at tenor sax or the trombonist Carlos Perez. It makes for easy and pleasant listening and, while the arrangements might not astound listeners with their originality, they are bound to impress thanks to the musicians' tight interplay and the album's excellent recording quality. Siquir's soft and warm vocals dominate the exchanges, but there are welcome jazz breaks in such tracks as "Balanço", "Grito" and "Xiluva". Siquir is at his best when he introduces a sense of urgency to his compositions, with "Harmony" being a particularly fine example of this. The latter takes off largely thanks to the outstanding contribution by renowned bass player Linley Marthe, as well as the backing vocals. The lyrics move effortlessly from Portuguese to Mozambican Ronga (one of 30 languages spoken there, largely in the south) and English. They focus on universal issues, such as the environment in "Alerta" or the joys of fatherhood in "Song for My Children". Listeners might regret the lack of translation into English to better understand the world Siquir has been exploring for the last seven years. They can also hope this multi-talented artist stretches his musical world further, as he begins to do in "Ao Meu Povo" and the closing track "Chegou Alegria". If he does, Deodato Siquir's infectious smile and livewire live performances are likely to spread beyond the circle of admirers he has established in Scandinavia since 2001. February 5th, 2008. Daniel Brown/ MONDOMIX.COM.
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