Gema Corredera – Derramando Luz

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“On Derramando Luz Gema explores aspects of cuban music fused with the harmonics of jazz and convey both the present and the past of cuban music in a selection of outstanding compositions.”

Most people sure recognize her name as the female half of the duo Gema y Pavel. Derramando Luz is Gema Corredera’s debut album as a soloist, and for this project Gema recruited an amazing group of musicians, all of them well versed in the jazz language. Yosvany Terry on alto and soprano sax, chékere, güiro, and back-up vocals, Osmany Paredes on acoustic piano, Yunior Terry on acoustic bass, and back-up vocals, Obed Calvaire on drums and back-up vocals and Alfredo Chacón on percussion, vibes, and back-up vocals. Manuel Valera plays the keyboards on tracks 3,4,9.

Jazz has always been part of Gema’s music vocabulary, she listened and studied the jazz masters back in her native Habana, Cuba and also led a jazz quartet in Madrid. So the harmonic and melodic sophistication of jazz comes natural to Gema and can be heard on her phrasing, fluid vocals and stunning tone, especially in the jazz ballad “En el mapa de tu cuerpo”, and the jazzier track of the album “Otro Lugar”. Even though there are influences of Brazil, Opera, Jazz and more in Gema music, and phrasing, there is even a touch of South American music in the track “Canción Breve”, her seductive and elegant style is most of all influenced by her Cuban heritage, son, rumba, bolero.

Gema explores aspects of cuban music fused with the harmonics of jazz and convey both the present and the past of cuban music in a selection of outstanding compositions. Her style, compounded of elegance and emotion engages the listener in poetic and refined lyrics and melodies full of optimism as in “Sangre Revuelta” and Vanito Brown “Chévere”, in the romantic lyrics of  Francisco Céspedes title track “Derramando Luz”, the powerful interpretation of  Luis Ferrer “Anana Oyé” and the reflections on love and life of “Ridicula Emoción”. In the boleros “Despacito” and “Filineandote” and the intimate piano and voice arrangement of  “Tengo” with special guest Gonzálo Rubalcaba, Gema demonstrates she is also a master of  the “filin cubano” a fusion of  bolero with jazz.

Derramando Luz has all the ingredients to be considered already a masterpiece of Latin American music, and for sure the first one of many by this master vocalist.

Tracks: 1. Chévere; 2. Despacito; 3. Derramando Luz; 4. En el Mapa de Tu Cuerpo; 5. Canción Breve; 6. Ridícula Emoción;
7. Filineándote; 8. Tengo; 9. Anana Oyé; 10. Otro Lugar; 11. Sangre Revuelta.

Personnel: Gema Corredera: Vocals; Yosvany Terry: Alto and soprano sax, chékere, güiro, back-up vocals; Osmany Paredes: Acoustic piano; Yunior Terry: Acoustic bass, back-up vocals; Obed Calvaire: Drums, back-up vocals; Alfredo Chacón: Percussion, vibes, back-up vocals; Manuel Valera: Keyboards on tracks 3,4,9. Special appearance by Gonzálo Rubalcaba on acoustic piano on track 8.

Gema Corredera on the Web: https://www.facebook.com/gemacorrederamusic

Label: CD Baby | Release date: January 2013

Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre