Xiomara Laugart – Xiomara (2006)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:21 minutes | 910 MB | Genre: Latin, Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Digital booklet
Though she’s released six solo discs in her native land of Cuba, the woman affectionately called La Negra is best known stateside for recording with the New York-based group Yerba Buena. On her self-titled debut solo effort for Chesky, she fuses the essence of Cuba’s rhythmic folk songs to a sophisticated, contemporary sound.
Cuban singer Xiomara Laugart, known in her native country simply as “La Negra,” has already made a name for herself in the Latin jazz community as a singer in the Yerba Buena ensemble. On her eponymous solo debut, she combines elements of traditional Cuban folk music, jazz, and funk to create a musical mixture that dances around the edges of jazz but never commits to it fully, setting up a delightful musical tension that she nicely offsets with the warm, relaxed quality of her singing. Opening with the relatively poppy “La Llave,” Xiomara then explores loungier sounds on “Por Ti” before lapsing into a slow and smoldering groove on “Tengo.” “De Mis Recuerdos” blends a sweet melody and gently percolating rhythm to gorgeous effect, while “Moliendo Café” offers one of the strangest and most beguiling arrangements on the disc: rock guitars open the track playing a Kurt Weill-flavored cabaret lick, then the drums come in heavy; the guitars return later to shred in a decidedly metallic manner. The album’s final two tracks consist only of Xiomara’s voice, acoustic guitar, and the sound of snapping fingers. It’s a surprisingly quiet but highly effective finish to a wonderful album.
01 – La Llave
02 – Por Ti
03 – Tengo
04 – De Mis Recuerdos
05 – Soledad
06 – Plazos Tracioneros
07 – Siempre Que Te Vas
08 – Moliendo Cafe
09 – La Habana Joven
10 – No Creo