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Havana Carbo: Luna De Varadero

Dan McClenaghan By

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New York-based vocalist Havana Carbo sings about love on her latest set, Luna De Varadero, featuring boleros, bossas, ballads, and "...songs I dug up." The sounds of Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Cuba and the American Songbook, sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English, make their appearances here in a lovely mix. Carbo's voice has a rich timbre combined with a directness and a remarkable feeling of intimacy and restrained passion. Like Astrud Gilberto's ("The Girl From Ipanema") singing, Carbo's voice seems as if it's talking just to you on these mostly melancholy tunes.

"I Fall in Love Too Easily" (Styne/Kahn) captures perfectly the mood of Carbo's art: wistful, yearning, lonely and maybe a bit world weary, with a tinge of optimism in spite of lost love. The accompaniment is superb: a piano trio with Dario Eskenazi at the keys. His crisp yet gentle and ringingly percussive style nicely compliments Carbo's smooth flow of syllables and sometimes hushed delivery.

Atres da Porta" is the story of a scorned woman, done with heartbreaking eloquence by the vocalist, while "In the Wee Small Hours" encapsulates the introspective late night feel of the entire set. "Paris," written by Carbo for a city she loves—and misses—takes things into a upbeat, slightly jaunty feel; and the title tune, for a place remembered—a beach from Carbo's childhood in Cuba—is an understated and unabashedly beautiful tune, featuring the gentle sting of bongos.

A lovely set of songs.

Visit Havana Carbo on the web.

Track Listing: Acercate Mas, No Me Platiques Mas, Moon and Sand, I Fall In Love Too Easily, Aquellas Pequenas Casas, Luna De Varadero, Atras da Porta, Contigo en la Distancia, I wish i Knew, In the Wee Small Hours, The wind, Bonita, Paris, No Dejes Que Te Olvide

Personnel: Havana Carbo--voice; Dario Eskenazi--piano; Nilson matta--bass; Vince Cherico--drums

Title: Luna De Varadero | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: CAP

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