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Azucar de Amor

Kat Parra

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Album Review

In 2007, San Francisco-based singer Kat Parra had a very impressive recording debut with Birds in Flight, which included a wide variety of Latin material including salsa, sambas, Afro-Cuban jazz, Afro-Peruvian music, flamenco, and music that was beyond classification. On Azucar de Amor, she sticks more to Afro-Cuban music and salsa, mostly singing in Spanish. Her voice is strong, beautiful, and flexible, and she sounds equally at home in jazz and salsa. Parra improvises well on some pieces, doing a fine job with a Spanish version of "Sugar," "Misty" (which is in English) and "A Night in Tunisia," but also sounds like one of the top salsa singers on the scene on "Quitate La Queta." Trombonist Wayne Wallace produced the date and such strong instrumentalists as the great trumpeter Ray Vega, flutist John Calloway, violinist Anthony Blea, and a percussion section propelled by John Santos, Michael Spiro, and drummer Paul VanWageningen keep the music quite stirring. But no one is more stirring on this set than Kat Parra, who has quickly emerged to be a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 13 January 1962 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

The San Jose, CA-based Kat Parra is a flexible and broad-minded jazz vocalist who has very strong Latin leanings but has also been affected by Middle Eastern, Arabic, and North African music. In many cases, the term Latin jazz has been used to describe Afro-Cuban jazz — and Afro-Cuban music has, in fact, been a major influence on Parra, who has cited the late Cuban salsa queen Celia Cruz as one of her idols. But Afro-Cuban music is not the only type of Latin music that has influenced Parra,...
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Azucar de Amor, Kat Parra
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