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Susana Baca
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Susana Baca (vocals); Rafael Munoz, Felix Casaverde (vocals, guitar); Gaby Aviles (vocals); Steve Husler (violin); David Pinto (bass); Manongo Mujica (drums); Ramon Juan Medrano Cotito (cajon, quijada, cajita, guapeo); Hugo Bravo (bongos, congas, clay pot); Ramon Rodriquez (zampona); Julio Cesar Zavala (background vocals).
  • Recorded at Amigos, Lima, Peru in June 1996.
  • Susana Baca's eponymously titled debut captures the plangent beauty of her voice. The accompaniment is thankfully sparse, including only a guitar and caj?n (a wooden box drum). The songs are unhurried and round corners melodically, twisting and turning, always showcasing her musicality. There's nothing on the album quite like "Maria Lando," and Baca's astonishing performance that led off the Soul of Black Peru compilation of Afro-Peruvian music, but a few tracks come close. The lead tune, "Negra Presentuosa," is the strongest, beginning with the caj?n, which is soon joined by the guitar, then Baca, and finally a chorus at the close. Other standouts are "Heces," "Tu Miranda y Mi Voz," and "Caras Lindas." Andean pan pipes make their appearance on "La Luna Llena," while "Se Me Van los Pies" includes ill-considered echo effects, the album's only artistic lapse. ~ Spencer Harrington
Professional Reviews
Q (9/00, p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A spare, jazz-tinged mix of bossa nova and pop....[She] sings with cool, sensual focus, her voice accompanied by multi-rhythmic percussion or acoustic guitar....Recommended."

JazzTimes (12/97, p.140) - "...a gifted vocalist whose music leaps over continental and historical divides....sophisticated and primal all at once, Baca's debut shines with a raw light."

Vibe (2/98, p.124) - "...Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca shines....Baca is blessed with a honeyed contralto as wise and loving as a mother's counsel yet as intimate as a deep, soulful kiss..."
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