Cupaima

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: JM
WORKS: Cupaima
PERFORMER: Chavela Vargas

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Costa Rica’s chavela vargas retired from the stage last year after 60-plus years singing rancheras and boleros in Mexico, where she spent most of her career. Cupaima revisits a dozen old favourites with an air of finality.

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The overlong accompanying DVD is more impressionistic than informative, but Vargas has a compellingly creaky voice, drawing the songs out in a wobbly vibrato, accompanied by acoustic guitars and a range of pre-Hispanic flutes, seashells and percussion.