Review: Latin Jazz from Capricho Music

Capricho Music is a talent agency that squeezes musicians and comes out with juicy, romantic indulgence inspired by the sounds of Latin America. The accomplished artists associated with Capricho (Spanish for “whim”) are doing a show at Aurora Theatre on September 2nd that you won’t want to miss.  Before the show you can hear a few of their songs on Soundcloud:  “Three Spanish Songs”, “Spanish Song”, “Maddness On the Air” and Me Faltas.”

The multifaceted, multistringed opening to the first of “Three Spanish Songs” glides through the tympanic canals like a tepid Garnacha on the tongue in a dry summer heat. The song is bittersweet, the joy and splendor of magical vibrations escaping a wooden box meld with the perfect measure of melodrama contained in César Agusto’s voice. The song is beautifully heartbreaking.

The second “Spanish Song” is faster, with a happier beginning than its predecessor, the song soon takes a turn for the morose, maintaining its quick tempo. César’s voice is as rich and full as any guitar could ever hope to be. The third song impresses technically with guitar harmonics and César’s vocal acrobatics.

“Madness On The Air” has such a different sound from “Three Spanish Song,” I had to check to make sure Soundcloud hadn’t begun interrupting the musical experience with advertisements. Electronic beats float like the trio of Styrofoam airplanes I saw propped up by the wind, their white bodies vibrating in stark contrast to the blue sky of Puerto Morelos last weekend. “Madness On The Air” has a similar spatial quality to it, as if such a constant pulsating sound could somehow be enveloped by a margin of space as it vibrates in the air. I wonder about the preposition in the track’s title, as in Spanish, in and on are represented by the same word. “Madness On The Air,” however, conveys the tangibility of the song’s unique floating characteristic. Like the flan part of a chocoflan. “Cuesta Abajo” changes time zones and takes the listener further south to tango with a bandoneon while César’s vocal style romances like it’s 1949.

Capricho Music recorded a cover of Andrea Bocelli’s “Me Faltas”. César’s performance in this hair-raising smooth jazz track could give a fifteen-year-old Luis Miguel a run for his money. What gives César a leg up in his singing is the credibility in his delivery of someone else’s words. César has the marvelous skill of singing complicated music in an earnest way.

 

Capricho Music is doing some good things. While the U.S. airwaves become increasingly cluttered with other forms of Latin music that can lamentably veer away from meaning toward mindless monetary value (even my Barranquilla-born one-time idol has chosen to create noise instead of poetry) Capricho Music is staying true to the seductive sounds of its roots and is creating works of art that nourish the heart.

Gwendolyn Lewis Written by: