VH-1 fans arent the only ones in love with divas. These days, record companies have been quick to notice that music fans around the globe want their divas, and South America is no exception.
Over the past two decades, there havent been many recordings of any sort coming out of Peru. What with the recent political and economic messes there, Peruvian record companies havent invested in modern productions, and hence havent had anything to export. This led vocalist Olga Milla to produce her own recording Caricia (Caress). Its an intimate acoustic exploration of Peruvian folk music, including romantic valses (waltzes), African-based landos and Andean huaynos. Unlike most of the formulaic, canned session recordings plaguing Peru today, Millas Caricia is a tender, emotional tribute to Perus rich musical diversity. Whether backed by guitars and strings (on the valses), Afro-Peruvian percussion (on the landos) or charango (small four-stringed Andean guitar used in the huaynos), Millas passionate voice unifies the album. The only weaknesses are the lounge-esque strings and piano on a few of the valses, a problem easily rectified with a handy remote control.
Rosanna & Zelia are Rosanna Tavaras and Zelia Foneca a dental student and a journalist, respectively. The duo from Minas Gerais, Brazil, offer an intimate take on many of Brazils national forms, including samba, samba-reggae, chorinho and Brazilian jazz. Musically, this acoustic album sounds a bit like Ricky Lee Jones singing in Portuguese. The problem is that R & Z arent sure whether they want to be singer-songwriters or Brazilian sambistas. What they choose to do on Passagem is something in-between, sacrificing all of the passion and energy at the heart of most Brazilian traditional music.
Carmen Gonzalezs Andarele is by far the pick of the bunch, and one of the best albums of the year. The music is from the city of Esmereldas, on the northern coast of Ecuador. A country more known for enormous turtles and colorful finches, Ecuador too had a role in the slave trade, and Esmereldas is the largest center of African culture in the country. On Andarele, Gonzalez is joined by a 12-piece band led by Cuban musical director Omar Sosa. He throws in touches of Afro-Cuban salsa principally piano and a brass section intertwined with the Afro-Ecuadorian percussion. Larry Preciados marimba solos are simply mesmerizing, as are Gonzalezs fiery vocals. The album is filled with tune after infectious tune about life by the sea. So, clear away the furniture, crank your stereo and get ready to dance Andarele is scorching.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.