The Lady …

… sings. And how! Flanked by 2 acoustic guitars, cello and bass, she is sitting in the middle of the half-circle and plays guitar and sings her own songs, just recently released on her new album 11 Noviembre. The Lady in question is Silvia Perez Cruz, on of the most exciting new Spanish singers – unique, bold and touching. Her influences are Fado and Flamenco and other local folk music from Spain and Portugal.The album is challenging, but worth listened through again and again. The live show is easier, simpler and more emotional. When she sings Iglesias (based on Moon River, which she refers to at one point in the middle of the song), for me one of the best songs on the new record, it is haunting, beautiful and full of surprises. Same for Diluvio Universal and some of the other tracks – then ending the show in a duo with Javier Colina, Spain’s best jazz bass player – swinging and having fun. A unique talent with a great voice and a personal approach to her song writing and performing. 20120411174625_64


… plays a mean bass, sings and runs a band! And gives us a show that swings and has all the hall marks of a great artist. In this case I am talking about Esperanza Spalding, who performed in Madrid last weekend to a full house at Joy Eslava. And her audience loved it – singing along with the better known songs of her new album Radio Music Society.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of the records, but the live show I did really enjoy – she has a great band and they can swing (which they should do more often) and funk and she is a great, charming performer. Her voice is used well, even so it seems at times a bit flat, but it sounds good in the middle range she uses to great effect. Her song writing is really good and the arrangements for the band superb. I had a great time – with a bit less talking and more big band power it would have been even better. Finally I understand what the hype is all about – a great musician, composer and performer, who knows how to get her audience and make them dance – that she is young and beautiful surely helps, but it is the musicality that really counts here and she’s got a lot of that!

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