Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider: Dreamers

Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider: Dreamers
BUY THIS ALBUM ON AMAZON.COM

You can now declare Magos Herrera to be one of the greatest contemporary interpreters of song. Her consummate and sultry contralto is pitch-perfect and she has both the voice and the artistry to interpret traditional South American repertoire, which she sings in Spanish and Portuguese (as well as in English) here on this breathtakingly beautiful album, Dreamers. Why is this hour-long disc that feels like an epic such a triumph? Clearly it is first and foremost Miss Herrera’s atmospheric singing; moreover it is also the fact that she turns the elemental heartache of a whole generation of South American Dreamers into anthems that herald their journey away from social and political repression into the promise of freedom and the triumph of human endeavour in the United States. The fact that the American administration of 2018 is trying its best to destroy the dream makes these songs of longing all the more poignant, and who better than Miss Herrera to turn all this pain into joy sublimated in the smokiness of her vocal ardour?

Editor’s Pick · Featured Album · Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider: Dreamers

These are benchmark performances of classic music, brilliantly sung from end to end by Miss Herrera assisted with orchestral finesse by Brooklyn Rider, the string quartet comprising four esteemed New York chamber musicians each of whom turn in flawless performances in ensemble as well as through the occasional breakaway cadenza. Miss Herrera begins the recording with a superb original composition “Niña” that brings the plight of the children to light, their anguish assuming extraordinary proportions in the context of the recent brutal separation of children from the parents of asylum-seekers who entered the US from across its border with Mexico. Her English-language song “Dreams” is just as heartbreakingly beautiful as is the song “Tú y Yo”.

This extraordinary repertoire also includes works by such iconic composers as the legendary Chilean composer Violeta Parra, the Brasilians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, who were among the near-mythical creators of Música popular brasileira (MPB) that arose out of Bossa Nova during the Dictatorship of that country. Among the songs where Miss Herrera soars upwards towards a kind of metaphorical freedom are “Balderrama” by Gustavo “Cuchi” Leguizamón, the iconic Argentinean composer and “La Aurora de Nueva York” with lyrics from Federico García Lorca’s seminal work Poeta en Nueva York, the song’s beauty a confluence between Miss Herrera’s husky vocals and the powerful Flamenco harmonies by Miguel Poveda together with contributions from the incomparable Gonzalo Grau as well.

The disc ends with the near-wordless “Undiú” drenched in emotion with Miss Herrera at the height of her powers: haunting and profoundly brilliant. The timing of the release and the cumulatively stunning performance by Miss Herrera and Brooklyn Rider make this music (and the disc) something to absolutely die for, not the least because all of this music contains valuable messages for our or indeed any time, all of which is superlatively performed by one of the great modern singers of our time.

Track list – 1: Niña; 2: Balderrama; 3: Dreams; 4: De Manhã; 5: Volver a los 17; 6: Milonga Gris; 7: La Aurora de Nueva York; 8: Eu Vim Da Bahía; 9: Coração Vagabundo; 10: Tú y Yo; 11: La Llorona; 12: Luz de Luna; 13: Undiú

Personnel – Magos Herrera: vocals; Brooklyn Rider – Johnny Gandelsman: violin; Colin Jacobsen: violin; Nicholas Cords: viola; Michael Nicolas: cello. With Miguel Poveda: vocals (7); Mathias Kunzli: percussion (4, 6, 8, 9, 10); Gonzalo Grau: percussion (1, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11), Flamenco palmas and percussion (7); La Conja & Sol: Flamenco palmas (1); Edward Pérez: bass (10)

Released – 2018
Label – Sony Music (190758907123)
Runtime – 1:06:49

Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

FROM OUR VINYL STOREspot_img
FROM OUR VINYL STOREspot_img

Featured Posts

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

El Gran Fellové: Part 1- The Beginning

Francisco Fellové Valdés (October 7, 1923 – February 15, 2013), also known as El Gran Fellové (The Great Fellove), was a Cuban songwriter and...

Bobby Paunetto, New York City and The Synthesis of Music

Bobby Paunetto was an unforgettable composer, arranger, musician and recording artist. Latin Jazz Network honors him on the tenth anniversary of his death (8.10.10). His...

Jazz Plaza 2020: Ancient to the Future

Chapter four of our series: 35th Jazz Plaza International Festival in Havana In recent months I found myself in profound reflection of the term...

Ray Martinez and the Forgotten Legacy of Jazz

Sometime in the very near future, several of the jazz world's best known writers and musicologists will meet in some obscure conclave to pool...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more