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December 1997

Susana Baca
Susana Baca
Luaka Bop

Two years ago, the Luaka Bop label released the sumptuous and revealing compilation, The Soul of Black Peru, offering a small but impressive document of the Afro-Peruvian musical tradition. Central to that collection was music by Susana Baca, a gifted vocalist whose music leaps over continental and historical divides. Her solo debut, entitled Susana Baca (Luaka Bop/WB 46627; 41:10), shows, more intimately and elaborately, her embrace of hybrid traditions as a Black woman in Peru. Here, she considers the musical soil of Latin American music as well as instincts planted there from the African diaspora. The music is a poetic juggling act, between the stark expression and arrangement of traditional songs, sung with bold clarity and graced with percussion-rich backdrops. Sophisticated and primal all at once, Baca's debut shines with a raw light.

Originally published in December 1997
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