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Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Luisa

Read "Luisa" reviewed by Doug Collette


It's a rare musician confident enough in his or her abilities to subsume their own name under a group moniker, but even as saxophonist/composer Mercedes Figueras maintains her independence via a personal presence on the web under her own moniker, she has taken that humble step with the Black Butterflies. Coalescing in 2010, the quintet's previous self-produced albums, 1 De Mayo and Rainbows For Ramon, are both as accessible as they are durable and this new one follows suit.

7

Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Luisa

Read "Luisa" reviewed by Matt Marshall


On their two previous releases, 1 de Mayo (2010) and Rainbows for Ramon (2012), The Black Butterflies built soulful, searching jazz with dense, kinetic layers of Latin and African rhythms. Using both group improvisation and individual statements, they freely, yet unhurriedly, explored the boundaries of their music, often lingering in spots to let the tonal palette shift organically. With Luisa they've tightened their focus, strongly favoring tango and other Argentinian folk forms, while keeping solos brief and holding most tracks ...

2

Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Rainbows For Ramon

Read "Rainbows For Ramon" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


When passion turns into art the effect can be stunning. Saxophonist Mercedes Figueras proves this in her masterful blend of jazz including Latin music, African rhythms and a high-energy dollop of free jazz. What makes it all the more tantalizing is the way in which she and her band scope and enlarge the composition. Figureas plays with great control and direction, but she also breaks loose to turn a tune into a memorable experience.“Rainbows For Ramon," an ode ...

2

Extended Analysis

The Black Butterflies: Rainbows for Ramon

Read "The Black Butterflies: Rainbows for Ramon" reviewed by Matt Marshall


The Black ButterfliesRainbows for RamonSelf Produced2012Judging by its title alone, some might expect Rainbows for Ramon, the sophomore release by The Black Butterflies, to be a flighty affair that trills off into flowery musical fields fit for skipping unicorns. It is not this (thankfully), even though joyful melodic lines feature prominently on the disc. In this case, the album's cover might better serve those looking to make quick adjudication: painter Ima Montoya's ...

8

Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Rainbows For Ramon

Read "Rainbows For Ramon" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


The Black Butterflies is a Latin free-for-all led by reed multi- instrumentalist Mercedes Figueras, an Argentinean transplanted to New York City. Figueras and band follows up a well- received debut, 1 De Mayo (Self Produced, 2010), with Rainbows for Ramon. Reviewed in capable detail by Dan Bilawsky and Karl Ackermann, Rainbows for Ramon--and, in particular, Figueras' treatment of the Gershwin Brothers' standard--is worth some further elaboration. Musical sincerity is inversely proportional to synthetic production: the more basic, ...

31

Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Rainbows For Ramon

Read "Rainbows For Ramon" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The Black Butterflies' debut, 1 De Mayo (Self Produced, 2010), introduced an ensemble that found beauty in brashness and an all-inclusive recipe for musical creation. The group found its way by liberally mixing free jazz, Latin music, blues, John Coltrane-like spiritualism, primal urges and strong rhythmic elements, giving their music a sense of raw immediacy that's lacking in so many of today's shiny, overly-polished bands. The architect of this ensemble is Mercedes Figueras, an Argentinean-born saxophonist who ...

39

Album Review

The Black Butterflies: Rainbows for Ramon

Read "Rainbows for Ramon" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


When she was scarcely into her twenties, self-taught saxophonist Mercedes Figueras recorded Elefante (Self Produced, 2007) a duo recording with drummer Martin Visconte. From this initial effort, it was clear that Figueras is as fearless as she is creative. She neither tames her instrument nor lets it run wild and in the process has invented a style of her own. Her subsequent group--The Black Butterflies-- emerged in 2010 with 1 De Mayo (Self Produced, 2010) and the collection was full ...


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