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Mili Bermejo : De Tierra

De Tierra. It is the title of Boston-based singer/composer/educator Mili Bermejo’s latest album, recorded live at Scullers Jazz Club some 16 months ago. It is also the name of her eight-piece ensemble. And, in Spanish, it means “Of Earth.” In one of her spoken introductions to these 10 songs-four crafted by Bermejo, the remainder from such masters as Rubén Blades, Rafael Mendoza and Marcial Alejandro-she says, “We’ll take care of the earth, and discover its treasures.” Later, she sings what translates as “Let me be your strength; I’ll be your peace when the world hurts us.” It is those two sentiments that underline this remarkable album and define its subtle yet immense power. For, in Bermejo’s vocabulary, “earth” and “world” are not necessarily synonyms. “Earth,” meant in the physical sense, is to be honored and protected, and will, in response, treat us likewise. “World” defines the inhabitants of our global village. Unlike the earth, the world’s goodness is neither innate nor always comprehensible. The world can intentionally hurt us. The earth cannot. But the response to such intent must be love, love of the same honesty and intensity as that we owe the earth. And when that happens, as Bermejo explains with such simple eloquence, “pure water and hope will be our permanent guests.”

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