March 2005

Eva Ayllon
Eva! Leyenda Peruana
Times Square

There is a strong tie between African-influenced Peruvian sounds and Afro-Cuban Santeria drum music. The bond is best shown in lando music, the perfect hybrid of Andean melodic tradition and African rhythmic sensibilities, with the percussion played slightly behind the beat. Eva Ayllon is an icon of the Afro-Peruvian culture and tradition, and Eva! Leyenda Peruana (Times Square) is her most successful attempt to combine lando with elements from both folk and contemporary Latin music. The standout cut is "Cardo o Ceniza," a stripped-down cover of a tune by the grand dame of lando, Chabuca Granda. Against sparse accompaniment (piano and rhythm section), Ayllon's voice is rich and deep, and her phrasing is both reverent and playful.

Originally published in March 2005
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