Colombian singer/songwriter Marta Gomez is a wonderful, enigmatic talent. Her voice has the lulling softness that evokes Brazil’s female vocal icons, yet there’s a depth to her writing that goes far beneath the surface. She’s also something of an expert on Latin rhythms — there are 13 different ones on this disc, all of them rooted in different cultures, from Colombian bambuco to Argentine chamame. But everything is so perfectly put together that you forget the academic side, pulled along by the music and voice. Recorded over just three days, it’s a small masterwork. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand Spanish, as Gomez evokes delicate moods in her work, each piece beautifully arranged and shaded, with a very live sound. Her last album saw her labeled as a jazz singer, but there’s little evidence of that here, possibly quite deliberately. Instead it’s an album of low-key Latin music that at times edges toward a more straightforward singer/songwriter stance — albeit a very classy one (think Joni Mitchell, for example). On the evidence of this and her previous disc, Gomez is a rapidly rising star of genuine quality and inspiration. ~ Chris Nickson
Already an award-winning performer in her home country, young Colombian singer-songwriter Marta Gomez has captured the attention of critics and audiences of all origins. Marta began her musical career at a very early age and in 1999 she moved to the United States to study composition at the Berklee College of Music. At Berklee Marta was awarded the prestigious “Best Achievement” scholarship and graduated magna cum laude with more than 70 original songs to her credit.
Proving she is an up-and-coming artist to be reckoned with, musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, John Mayer and Mercedes Sosa have all invited Marta to share their concert stages in recent performances. Her song “Paula Ausente”, based on the memoir Paula by Isabelle Allende, won the SIBL Project International songwriting contest as the best song inspired by South American literature. The song was included on a compilation CD that also featured David Bowie and Tom Waits. With her Chesky Records Released album “Cantos de Agua Dulce” Marta entered the European World Music Charts and one of her songs “La Ronda” was included in the Putumayo Collection “Women of Latin America” (2004)Marta’s music not only traverses a whole range of rhythms based on South American folklore, she also writes melodies and refrains that translate across all languages. With her velvety voice and jazz infused arrangements, Marta Gomez takes South American indigenous folk music into a hip new realm.
- Producer: David Chesky; Julio Santillan
- Associate Producer: Charles Carlini
- Editor: Nicholas Prout
- Arranger: Julio Santillan
Personnel: Marta Gomez (vocals, guitar, percussion); Julio Santillan (guitar, background vocals); Yulia Musayelyan (flute); Evan Harlan (accordion); Anat Cohen (clarinet); Fernando Huergo (electric bass); Franco Pinna (drums, percussion); Alejandra Ortiz (background vocals).
Recording information: Saint Peters Church, New York, NY (09/12/2005-09/15/2005).