11 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jazz musicians have drawn from the Great American Songbook — material that often was first featured in movies and stage musicals — for decades. On 2011’s Mexico Azul, Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera is up to something similar. But instead of interpreting those American classics, she focuses on gems associated with the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, a period which roughly covers the middle third of the 20th century. Herrera has an excellent band on hand, a sextet that includes the pianist Luis Perdomo and the bassist John Patitucci. The album has three songs by the legendary Mexican composer Agustin Lara: “Noche Criolla,” “Azul,” and “Lamento Jarocho.” Lara loved the music and culture of Veracruz, a state with a strong African influence, and it’s good to hear jazz interpretations of his work. On Alvaro Carrillo’s “Luz de Luna,” Herrera elegantly glides over the band’s smooth sound, which is nicely roughed up by Rogerio Boccato’s percussion. One of the best things here is “Obsesión,” by the Puerto Rican songwriter Pedro Flores. It’s a lovely and mysterious bolero and Herrera brings great feeling to it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jazz musicians have drawn from the Great American Songbook — material that often was first featured in movies and stage musicals — for decades. On 2011’s Mexico Azul, Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera is up to something similar. But instead of interpreting those American classics, she focuses on gems associated with the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, a period which roughly covers the middle third of the 20th century. Herrera has an excellent band on hand, a sextet that includes the pianist Luis Perdomo and the bassist John Patitucci. The album has three songs by the legendary Mexican composer Agustin Lara: “Noche Criolla,” “Azul,” and “Lamento Jarocho.” Lara loved the music and culture of Veracruz, a state with a strong African influence, and it’s good to hear jazz interpretations of his work. On Alvaro Carrillo’s “Luz de Luna,” Herrera elegantly glides over the band’s smooth sound, which is nicely roughed up by Rogerio Boccato’s percussion. One of the best things here is “Obsesión,” by the Puerto Rican songwriter Pedro Flores. It’s a lovely and mysterious bolero and Herrera brings great feeling to it.

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About Magos Herrera

Born in Mexico City and fluent in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, jazz singer, songwriter, actress, and vocal teacher Magos Herrera has a devoted following that spans continents. She has recorded numerous award-winning albums, including Pais Maravilla, Distancia, and Mexico Azul. ~ James Christopher Monger

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