Exquisite music with South American folk influences, mixed with jazz sounds, and wrapped in the powerful voice and tonal beauty of Sofia Rei, that’s De Tierra y Oro.
The most recent album by the Argentinian singer is a collection of outstanding original compositions with an eclectic blend of textures and sounds, provocative lyrics and melodies, that tells the stories of her travels and experiences. Sofia Rei is a native of Buenos Aires, now based in New York. She received a Masters at Boston’s New England Conservatory and is currently on the faculty of Berklee College of Music.
Sofia Rei’s fluid vocals, stunning tone and storytelling ability engages the listener from the first song “La Gallera”, reminiscing of her visit to a cockfight in Cartagena, Colombia. The flamenco and Arabic sounds on the title track, “De Tierra y Oro,” shows yet another influence on Sofia Rei’s music. Moroccan jazz singer Malika Zarra adds the background vocals on this one.
In the contagious Chacarera-like rhythms of “El Sauce”, Sofia Rei proudly displays her Argentinian heritage. In “Risa” Sofia Rei takes the listener to the Andean regions of South America. “El Llorón” is a powerful bass intro to the song “La Llorona”, a composition with touches of Mexican rancheras, especially in Sofia Rei phrasing.
The percussive rhythms of Sofia Rei’s voice and the electronic sounds on “Mundo Piedra” and “Noche” give the songs a more modern feel. De Tierra y Oro ends with the heartfelt interpretation of “Poesia Ilegal” and the echo-enhanced vocals and sublime harp sounds of “Arriba”.
Tracks: La Gallera, De Tierra y Oro, El Sauce, Risa, El Llorón, La Llorona, Todo lo Perdido Reaparece, Mundo Piedra, Noche, Poesía Ilegal, Arriba.
Personnel: Sofia Rei – vocals, Eric Kurimski – acoustic guitar (2,3,4,6,7,9,10,11), Yayo Serka – drums, percussion (2,3,7,8,11), Jean-Christophe Maillard – electric guitar (1,2,3,7,9), Jorge Roeder – bass (1,2,3,5,6,7,9,10,11), Samuel Torres, Facundo Guevara, Diego Obregón, Nestor Gomez – percussion, Fernando Martinez – drums (7), Malika Zarra – vocals (2), Celso Duarte – harp (11), Josh Deutsch – flugel horn (2,9,10), trumpet (4,7), Ryan Keberle – trombone (7).
Sofia Rei on the Web: sofiamusic.com
Label: Lilihouse Music | Release date: December 2012
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre