Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eliana Cuevas, Espejo

The category of "Latin vocalists" is something so wide as almost to be meaningless. Of course one will expect the singing to be in Spanish (or Portuguese), but beyond that there is a spectrum of possibilities that is seemingly endless. In the case of Canadian based Eliana Cuevas and her album Espejo (Alma 81242) we get music and a voice, each with a special originality. The music has a jazz quality and Eliana projects through it all wonderfully.

It all is in a contemporary Latin vein, which means there are nicely wrought modern arrangements (by keyboardist Jeremy Ledbetter and Eliana) and a rhythmic feel that includes infectious Latin rhythms along with a backbeat at times. These are for the most part Cuevas originals and she has a definite knack at songwriting. Combine that with an impeccable vocal instrument and you really have something. Her voice is nuanced, pitch-perfect, personally sensuous and clear as a bell. Based on the album I would certainly put her up there among the very best of the new vocalists. She is marvelous.

The more I listen to this one the more I am struck by it. If you could buy only one contemporary Latin album this year, this might well be the one. I am very impressed! Eliana Cuevas is a knockout on every level.

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