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Bambu Sun by Corina Bartra & Azu

Vocalist and percussionist Corina Bartra throws a little bit of everything she knows and likes in her latest effort, Bambu Sun. The bilingual affair features Afro-Peruvian/world music, jazz improvisation, a standard, a message of peace, and the obligatory Beatles song. As a result, there’s a lot on the 12-track CD, and Bartra walks a tightrope between providing diversity and sounding unfocused.

Bartra brings six originals to the album, including "Guajira Son," a spirited cha cha that opens the disc, and "Peace Loving People are on the Rise," a call for Democracy that’s heavy handed, but well meaning. The album also features a vocalese performance of Wayne Shorter’s "Footprints." Bartra also delivers a nice reading of the Beatles’ "Black Bird." The song begins as a warm, gentle breeze, builds to an extended horn solo, and then closes with Bartra scatting. It’s an example of the singer’s desire to add it all in.

A native of Peru who lives in New York, Bartra is backed by a stellar group of musicians, including bassist Rufus Reid and pianist Cliff Korman. Jay Rodriguez plays saxophone and flute.

Bartra fills Bambu Sun with good intentions. Her energy is contagious, and her high spirits are the secret ingredient on the disc. Bambu Sun is recommended for fans of world music.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Corina Bartra & Azu
  • CD Title: Bambu Sun
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Blue Spiral
  • Tracks: Guajira Son, A Saca Camote con el Pie, Enlightened Heart, Black Bird, Afro Peruvian Folk Song, Footprints, Canterurias, Yambambo, Sol Azabache, Peace Loving People are on the Rise, Magia y Ritmo Ancestral, and Majoral
  • Musicians: Corina Bartra (vocals, dumbek and percussion), Cliff Korman (piano), Jay Rodriguez (sax and flute), David Hertzberg (bass), Vince Cherico (drums), Math Baranello (drums), Perico Diaz (cajon, congas, cajita, quijada de burro, bells), Oscar Torres (cajon), Rufus Reid (bass), and Oscar Hoyos (guitar)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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