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Rhythm of Life

Claudia Acuña

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Album Review

Within three years of her initial recording debut as a leader on Wind From the South, vocalist, composer, and arranger Claudia Acuña now commands sufficient respect to produce her second release for a major label, and it's a provocative study, secure in its delicate but powerful Latin jazz relationship. On Rhythm of Life, Acuña virtually has the style mastered and offers a solid, comprehensive, up-to-date exploration of ballads, up-tempo burners, Latin folk, and jazz compositions in English and Spanish. Co-produced by Billy Childs, who also plays piano on four tracks, as well as her longtime friend and pianist Jason Lindner, Claudia Acuña re-styles such great songs as "My Romance," "A Child Is Born," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and "More Than You Know." Designed to reflect her creativity and original interpretations of standards from the Great American Songbook, she brings each song full circle beautifully, seductively, and in a well-balanced style. "Volver a los Diecisiete," a Chilean song written by Violetta Parra, and Milton Nascimento's "Maria Maria" offer traditional spice to this great set that also features Avi Leibovich playing an awesome flute and trombone. He offers an excellent caliber of jazz improvisations throughout, but is especially emphatic on "Nature Boy." Acuña's nearly six-minute rendition is performed to perfection, opening slowly with her rich trademarked elongations, phrasings, and nuance that rise and fall against Lindner's priceless chords that ebb and flow in a beautiful succession of lush crescendos. Jason Lindner's poetic complements are without equal. The song culminates in a fiery calypso, with vocals supplied by the ensemble. Excellent rhythmic changes in this arrangement make this song a pick. With the addition of Billy Childs, a string quartet, and master bassist Dave Holland, Acuña has elevated her sound into another direction,but the keynote of success is still her delicate, sensitive, beautiful vocal artistry.

Biography

Born: 1971 in Concepción, Chile

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Though she always wanted to be a singer, Chilean jazz vocalist Claudia Acuña didn't discover jazz music until she was 15. Instead the Santiago native grew up singing traditional folk songs and current pop hits, but once some of the city's jazz fans heard her perform, they told her she had a natural gift for the style. Acuña frequented Santiago's major jazz club as a performer as well as an audience...
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Rhythm of Life, Claudia Acuña
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