Prachtig soulful flamenco album van Concha Buika in samenwerking met de Cubaanse pianist Chucho Valdes, bandleider van Irakere met liedjes eerder bekend geworden in de vertolking van Chavela Vargas. Op het Casa Limón label met producer/guitarist Javier Limón.
Is there a more potent voice in the whole of popular music? The Spanish singer is an uncategorisable talent whose repertoire embraces everything from pop to jazz and flamenco to blues and soul. Pedro Almodovar, one of her admirers, provides the liner notes for this haunting tribute to Chavela Vargas, the grand old lady of Latin American song. It`s a marvellously nuanced piece of work, with the pianist Chucho Valdes, guiding light of that peerless Afro-Cuban band Irakere, leading the unobtrusive accompaniment. Luz de Luna receives a sleek, jazz-inflected makeover and Las Simples Cosas is quietly authoritative. A slow burner, perhaps, but beautiful nevertheless.
A celebration of the 90th birthday of Chavela Vargas. The daughter of a Costa Rican rancher, she moved to Mexico to become a hard-living celebrity, and a powerful and emotional singer, championed by the film-maker Pedro Almodávar. This very fine album, El Ultimo Trago, features songs from Vargas`s repertoire, reinterpreted by an intriguing duo of very different Latin musicians. Buika has shaken up the Spanish flamenco scene with her emotional vocals and African influences (her parents are from Equatorial Guinea), while Chucho Valdes is one of the finest jazz pianists in Cuba. The result is a stylish, and gently passionate set in which Buika`s controlled, powerful and soulful vocals are balanced against Valdes`s elegant, jazz-tinged piano. It`s the finest flamenco-Cuban fusion since Chucho`s celebrated father Bebo recorded with Diego El Cigala.