Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Wind from the South

Magazine article Americas (English Edition)

Wind from the South

Article excerpt

Claudia Acuna Wind from the South (Verve 314 543 521-2)

Taken solely on the virtue of its own many merits, this well-rounded and instantly engaging session is as impressive a debut as has been heard in some time by a young vocalist with her sights set on jazz stardom. Add the appealing story line of a non-English speaking immigrant from a distant land who claws her way to respectability in the tough environment of New York City's small-club scene and the emergence of Chilean vocalist Acuna as a genuine jazz talent is all the more imposing. Scoring a big label contract and being teamed up with such name sidemen as Puerto Rican tenor saxophonist David Sanchez certainly adds weight to Acuna's coming-out date. But this is far from the smoke-and-mirrors treatment many neophyte singers get when being postured as the next Sarah Vaughan or Betty Carter. On many of the tracks, the native of Santiago is all but alone, working with accompaniment so spare it leaves her nowhere to hide. On a lovely Argentine folk tune, "Alfonsina y el mar," Acuna goes it alone with album co-producer and bassist Avishai Cohen, while on the title track, her primary instrumental foil is trombonist Avi Leibovich. …

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