As anyone must know who observed the personality of Susannah McCorkle, either by meeting her or by studying her records, this was an exceptionally bright young woman. She brought to her interpretations a melodic sensitivity, a lyrical intelligence, and a background of international travel. Along the way she acquired such an extensive knowledge of languages that at one time, in Italy, she worked as a freelance interpreter, translating from Italian or Spanish or German into English.
Clearly, then, it ws no big problem for her to tackle a project consisting mainly of Brazilian songs. The title of this collection, Sabia (meaing "songbird"), aptly describes the essence of Susannah McCorkle. Her love of some of the material here went back many years.
"I was always fascinated by Joao Gilberto," she said. "He was sort of a twin spirit for me, like Billie Holiday. And although I've never been to Brazil, and was only in Portugal once, briefly, on a cruise ship, I was familiar with a lot of words in the language -- words like coracao and tristeza and felicidade. I'm not totally fluent -- I feel I could easily have a love affair in Portuguese but I couldn't buy a postage stamp."