There is a certain fire that burns with a quietude that, although atypical of the Latin soul, still contains much of the passion that is contained in it. In fact the passion is so contained that the fire actually soars with its very chill. The music of Laura Fernandez “burns” with this cold fire. Much of Miles Davis’ music was “hot” in that sense (that) it burned with a similar quiet fire. Conventional wisdom dictates that Latin music is not meant to be cool but fiery and hot. Still, when music such as that written by an artist such as Fernandez is performed it is still brimful of passion, grace and a cool fire
Laura Fernandez shows, with her albumUn Solo Beso that she is a maturing artist with a fine sense of song form and the poetic image. Being equipped with this artistic intuition she is able to write with a remarkable sense of nuance. Writing about relationships; their growth, maturation and also their decline requires a keen grip of the fine sense of listening to and interpreting emotions as well as reacting to them. Fernandez does all of these things. She then produces songs reflect the narrative of live well lived and felt deeply as if from every pore of the body. Fernandez also imbues these songs with exquisite melody, harmony and a rhythm that beats so close to the human heart that her music is ultimately felt deep within the soul.
Fernandez is unlike most singers. She sings with well-rounded intonation and her pronunciation is impeccable. Moreover her phrasing, especially on tracks such as “A Mi Padre” and “Que Mas Quieres de Mi” is beautifully executed amid expression that is at times aching and bleeding and at other times soaring with joy. This is a sure sign of her individualism and artistry. The fact that she makes the words mean everything they are meant to be and inhabit the emotion of the moment is a sign of how much she lives the songs she writes and sings.
The other remarkable aspect of Fernandez’s music is their beauty of form. She seems to understand the fleeting nature of feelings, tends not to dwell on them too much—which often leads to draining too much out of the emotion. Instead she turns her songs into almost epigrammatic poetic expressions. She also has a gifted feel for melody and surprises with how little she repeats herself as most relatively new songwriters do. Much of her music sound inspired and fresh. The album Un Solo Beso is also richly produced with fine accompaniment from trumpeter Alexis Baró, alto saxophonist Luis Deniz, pianist, Hilario Durán and especially from the hugely talented musician, guitarist and vocalist, Luis Mario Ochoa. A record like this can only whet the appetite for more from an emerging artist such as Laura Fernandez.
1. Mi Amor
2. Un Solo Beso
3. Junto a Ti
4. A Mi Padre
5. Que Mas Quieres de Mi
7. I Believe in Love
8. Que Linda es La Noche
9. Red Red Bird
10. La Barca
Laura Fernandez: vocals, keyboards (7); Noah Zacharin: guitar (1, 4); Elmer Ferrer: guitar (1, 3, 4, 6, 7 – 9); Luis Mario Ochoa: guitar (1, 5, 10); Duncan Hopkins: bass (1, 5); Paco Luviano: bass (2, 6); Roberto Riverón (9); Yoser Rodríguez: bass (3, 4, 7, 8); Glenda Del Monte Escalante: keyboards (1, 4, 7); Hilario Durán: piano (1, 2, 5, 6, 10); Roberto Linares Brown: keyboards (1, 9); Paul DeLong: drums (1); Rosendo “Chendy” Leon Jr.: drums (5, 8), percussion (9); Frank Durand: drums (2, 6); Shamakah Ali: drums (7); Joaquín Hidalgo: percussion (1, 5, 6); Jalidan Ruiz: percussion (1, 5); Jorge Luis “Papiosco” Torres: percussion (3, 8); Alexis Baró: trumpet (1, 2, 6); Luis Deniz: alto saxophone (2, 6, 7); Jeff King: tenor saxophone (6); Juan Diego De Sedas: accordion (9); Alberto Alberto: vocals (3, 9); Kevin Stock: vocal (9); Verónica Mesa (3); Raquel Olmes: vocal (3); Roberto Linares Brown: programming (7); Billy Bryans: programming (7).
Laura Fernandez on the web: www.laurafernandezmusic.com
Review written by: Raul da Gama