88

Claudia Acu: Rhythm of Life

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Claudia Acu: Rhythm of Life Claudia Acuña dedicates her sophomore effort to her friend and mentor Dianne Reeves, and indeed, there’s a certain Reevesian drama to Rhythm of Life. Whereas Acuña’s debut was driven mainly by pals Jason Lindner and Avishai Cohen, the new record features a broader cast of characters, including the perfect-10 rhythm team of Dave Holland and Jeff "Tain" Watts. Lindner is still quite present, however, playing piano and penning five of the nine arrangements (four of the five collaboratively with Acuña). But Acuña co-produced the disc with pianist/arranger Billy Childs, one of Reeves’s chief musical partners. It is Childs’s piano, and arrangements, that we hear on four cuts, including an ethereal 6/4 reading of "A Child Is Born" and a lush string quartet treatment of "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Avi Leibovich, a major presence on Wind From the South, is less prominent here, but his flute textures fill out "Nature Boy" beautifully. (The ending vamp is a tad overblown, with background vocalists repeatedly blurting out "There was a boy!")

Acuña’s voice is strong and versatile, generating excitement and bountiful passion. In addition to her inventive way with standards ("My Romance," a fast and highly irreverent "More Than You Know"), she excels again with Spanish-language material. Violeta Parra, the author of "Gracias a la Vida" from the previous record, is again represented with "Volver a los Diecisiete," which soars, as do Milton Nascimento’s "Maria Maria" and Pedro Luis Ferrer’s "Ay Mariposa." And last but not least, Acuña weighs in with an original bossa-ballad, the beautiful "Nowhere to Go."

While the big production serves Acuña’s voice well, it’s always wonderful to hear her interact with a small band live. Her just-announced U.S. tour, which includes a week-long run at New York’s Iridium beginning April 16, will feature Lindner, Reid Anderson on bass, and Clarence Penn on drums. In all likelihood, the bandstand is where this material will really take flight.

Track Listing: 1. My Romance 2. Ay Mariposa 3. A Child Is Born 4. Nature Boy 5. I Fall in Love Too Easily 6. Volver a los Diecisiete 7. Nowhere to Go 8. Maria Maria 9. More Than You Know

Personnel: Claudia Acu

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "WANDERlust" CD/LP/Track Review WANDERlust
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Song of the Free Will" CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Free Will
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!