Kimba Fa by Eva Ayllón
Released: Mar 2009
Label: FOUR QUARTERS RECORDS
The producers got it pretty much right on this 2008 album from one of Peru's premier musical ambassadors. Ayllon often gets buried behind ill-advised synthesizers; here, her liquid chocolate voice sounds as grounded and earthy as the acoustic guitar and cajon which mainly accompany her. At its best, Kimba Fa brings jazz panache to the rhythmically restless, call-and-response-motivated Afro-Peruvian music. At its worst, it slouches into self-important balladry and piano jazz -- but those slouchy moments are few and far between. Check out "El Surco" and "Carinito."
Sarah Bardeen
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