This album is the essence of Latin cool. Colombian vocalist Marta Gómez recorded 14 engaging tunes, working mainly with a fine trio of musicians and a backing vocalist. Her approach was minimal

This album is the essence of Latin cool. Colombian vocalist Marta Gómez recorded 14 engaging tunes, working mainly with a fine trio of musicians and a backing vocalist. Her approach was minimalist, but the payoff for the listener is huge. Gómez has a delightfully musical voice that suggests the feel of a breezy summer day. She wrote 12 of the album's songs, and she touches on a multitude of traditional South American styles, imparting to each an understated jazz sensibility that allows us to hear these essentially folk forms in an intriguing new way. Whether she's performing a bolero ("Bolero"), the Carnavalito rhythm of Brazil and Argentina ("Canción de Cuna"), joropo ("El Hermigueo") or a Peruvian vals ("El Pueblo"), Gómez's vocals are discerning, arresting and stylistically on the mark. The album title translates to "Songs of Sweet Water," and, indeed, this record is a refreshing taste of South American soul music.—PVV

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print