You know immediately from the first notes sung by Adriana Ospina in her characteristic pure, gilt-edged voice, that she is an artist of the first order. Her instrument is gorgeous, lustrous, and pristine. Hers are also songs of innate beauty and she is equally at home in English as she is in her first language, which is Spanish. There is a molten, almost liquid glow to the lyrics of her songs, which she pours – it would appear – over simple melodies strung together as if she were crafting little necklaces, the gems of which appear to change with differing emotions. The sense of belonging, combined with the urge to share feelings of both longing and joy are underlying themes. However, she always seems to be at peace, so instead of the feeling that you often have with song recitals, that you have to keep changing gears randomly every two or three minutes, there is a thread here that makes Respirar a more unified experience.
This is a gorgeous album. Simply gorgeous. Miss Ospina leads with compositions and vocals followed closely behind by her prodigiously gifted musician/brother Juan Andrés Ospina and a host of stellar musicians. Together they lay down an early marker of sensitivity and technical adroitness on “Respirar” (immediately followed by the beguiling “Umbrella”), whose challenging harmonies and tricky intervals are raptly encompassed. Miss Ospina’s multi-hued “Menorca” and the breathtaking finale “¿Qué le Voy a Hacer?” exhibit a gleamingly blended tonal quality, and a beautifully articulated engagement between vocal and instruments – especially the delicately crafted percussion colouring, “painted” here by Marcelo Woloski.
Every musician contributes something special from the pleasingly focused sound of the brass and winds on “Respirar”, “Umbrella” and “Y Así”, to the fluid variation of dynamics by guitars and cuatro performed by Jacinta Clusellas and Jorge Glem respectively. As if all of this weren’t enough there is another Ospina – Silvia – heard here on “Respirar”, waiting in the wings, her own lustrous voice ripe for an album all to herself. For much of this, arranger and music director, Juan Andrés Ospina deserves credit: his firm, intelligent shaping of this enterprising and rewarding recital from his extraordinarily gifted sister is a major factor, as is, of course, also the expert engineers, who have captured and brought to life the exquisite voice of Miss Ospina, seeming to place her in the room with you as you listen to these breathtaking songs.
Track list – 1: Respirar; 2: Umbrella; 3: Décimas; 4: Menorca; 5: Y Así; 6: Sometimes; 7: ¿Qué le Voy a Hacer?
Personnel – Adriana Ospina: compositions and voice; Juan Andrés Ospina: piano, Fender Rhodes, arrangements, musical direction and chorus; Tal Mashiach: contrabass and guitar (7); Marcelo Woloski: percussion; Engin Kaan: drums; Jacinta Clusellas: guitar (1, 5); Gordon Au: trumpet (1, 2); Mike Fahie: trombone (1, 5); Uri Gurvich: alto saxophone (1); Jorge Glem: cuatro (2); Silvia Ospina: second voice (1)
Released – 2019
Label – Mundos Music
Runtime – 23:44