She is Magos Herrera, arguably the finest contemporary jazz singer to emerge from Mexico, a heady blend of Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall. He is Javier Limón, not only a sublime flamenco guitarist but also an acclaimed composer and producer, known for his collaborations with Wynton Marsalis, Paco de Lucía and Chucho Valdés. She’s from Mexico City but now lives in New York. He was born and raised in Madrid. Both are children of the 1970s. Whether fortuitous or fated, the crossing of their paths was decidedly auspicious.
Their union throughout these 12 tracks is a subdued, almost hypnotic affair, with Limón’s oft-fiery playing tempered to effectively complement Herrera’s arid-voiced deliberateness. For all its quietude, it is an exhilarating combination. Their playlist, spanning American and Brazilian jazz standards, traditional Mexican folksongs and co-written originals, is ideally tailored to the mellow mood: a misty “Afro Blue,” a meditative “Skylark,” a sun-dappled “La Martiniana,” a seemingly incorporeal “Nature Boy,” a ruminative “Blue in Green.”
Most enticing is their interpretation of “Wild Is the Wind,” urgent and ripe with desirous thirst. But the prized bloom here is another wind-driven track, their own “My Love for You,” a dense, meandering exploration of slow-ripening passion.