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Since her debut in 2000, Argentina-based guitarist/vocalist Florencia Ruiz has merited high acclaim in South America, Europe, and Japan as an artist of vision and panache. With a renascent spirit, she embraces a wide range of stimulifolk, pop, jazz, classical, electronica, and visual arts in works with large ensembles. Her U.S. debut of Luz De La Noche (Light of the Night) continues her diverse ideas and introduces her to a wider audience.
Ruiz's aura is at the center of a project which benefits from the superb arrangements of producer Carlos Villivicencio and guests that include Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum (Ryuchi Sachamoto) and pianist Hugo Fattoruso (Milton Nascimento, Ron Carter).
"Alumbremos (We'll Enlighten)" is an apropos introduction. Dramatic and glamorous, it's colored with opulent strings, dashing flutes, flugelhorn calls, and Ruiz's innocent yet sultry voice. From the dreamlike "Por ahi (Maybe)," with its guitar and keyboard ostinato, and lovely yet dissonant piano solo in "Todo Dolor (All Pain)," to the alternative rock of "Hacia El Final (Towards The End)," the intricate dance between lyrics and music is creatively balanced.
Though Ruiz songs are matters of the heartlove, loss, memories and life's adventuresthe results are never over-sentimentalized. Her singing is authentic and expressive, adding to the lineage of great South American singers. But her lyrics convey new stories, told through her supple voice and an impressive array of excellent artists. A perfect example is evident on "Futuro, Flor (The Future, flor)," whose folkloric simplicity also includes brazen horns, hard rock guitars, and touches of sampling and techno thaumaturgy. It would be easy, at first glance, to mistake Ruiz's demure appearance for just another Brazilian pop/folk singer. But there's a creative fire that burns deep within her, as Luz de la noche will attest.
Track Listing: Alumbremos (We'll Enlighten); Estuve Asi(I Was That Way); No Esta (It Isn't); Por ahi (Maybe); Hacia El Final (Towards The End); Que Pena (What A Pity!); Todo Dolor (All Pain); Nada De Vos (Nothing From You); Invierno (Winter); Una Condicion (A Condition); Lo Perpetuo (The Perpetual); Niñez (Childhood); Futuro,Flor (The Future, flOr); Luz De La Noche (Light Of The Night).
Personnel: Florencia Ruiz: vocals, composition, guitar, ukulele (13); Carlos Villavicencio: piano (1), synthesizers (3, 9), electric piano (10, 11), Hammond, organ (8, 13), keyboards, percussion and programming (1-3, 5-7, 12), tribes collage (13); Jaques Morelenbaum: cellos (7, 12); Hugo Fattoruso: piano (7); Juan Quintero: Spanish guitar and voices (11); Mintch Garrammone: electric bass (11); Pablo Agri: violin (1); Elizabeth Ridolfi: viola (1); Diego Sanchez: cello (1); Alvaro Suarez Vazquez: French horn(1); Juampi di Leone: flutes (1,) ; Mono Hurtado: contrabass (1); Izarrualde Jerome: drums (1, 11); Victor Skorupski: bass clarinet (2, 4, 5); Mark Header: vibraphone (2); Facundo Guevara: percussion (2, 5, 9-12); Momoko Aida: violin (4-6); Ivan Tkachuk: electric bass (5, 8); Ariel Minimal: electric guitar (8, 10, 13); Alejandro Moffardin: electric bass (10, 13); Andres Ruiz: drums (10, 13); Javier Cardenas: violas (3, 6); Julian Gandara: cello (3, 6); Miguel Pagliarulo: drums (8); Marcos Cabezaz: vibraphone, percussion (12); Juan Scalona: trombones (13).
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.