LABELS: Luaka Bop
PERFORMER: Susana Baca (vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: LBCD 38
In her latest album, SUSANA BACA marks an outward move from her usual agenda of promoting black Peruvian culture. Recorded in Manhattan – by chance in the week of September 11, though without any effect on the repertoire – it grew out of live performances with keyboard player John Medeski and guitarist Marc Ribot joining her own band.
The results are more broadly Latin, with African roots prominent only for introductions, but the musical chemistry’s the thing, and runs right through a sequence of traditional and contemporary items to the singular experience of a Björk song in Spanish. It’s one of the Icelander’s more introspective numbers and Baca makes it her own after several laid-back tracks, most of them soaringly lyrical, the voice intimate and close-miked.