Kat_parra-azucar_de_amor_span3
November 2008

Kat Parra
Azucar de Amor
Patois

Building on the strength of last year’s debut disc, Birds in Flight, Californian Kat Parra continues her role as an exceptional world-music ambassador with 10 more cross-cultural, multilingual tracks. What began, says Parra, as an exploration of life experience, emerged as an album about hope and, by extension, music’s role as a universally uniting force.

Wisely aligning herself again with trombonist Wayne Wallace, who produced Azucar de Amor and wrote or co-wrote eight of the 10 arrangements, Parra opens with a lively mambo/salsa reinterpretation of Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar,” adding her own Spanish lyrics. Self-penned Spanish lyrics also figure into a salsa-infused “A Night in Tunisia” that shifts midway from gorgeously dusky to boldly vivacious. The international tour continues with three tunes written by Parra and Wallace: the wild, whirling “Quitate la Queta”; the sexily ebullient samba “Feed My Desire”; and the urgently passionate Afro-Peruvian landó “Un Grito.”

Finally, and most majestically, Parra furthers her fervor for Ladino Sephardic music, for which she recently received a Zellerbach Foundation grant, with the roiling, mysterious “Por La Tu Puerta” and the mellifluously ethereal “Esta Montanya d’Enfrente.”

Originally published in November 2008
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