Carolina Moon: Mother Tongue (Moon)

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Carolina Moon: Yad Anauga
Carolina Moon: Mother Tongue (Moon)

Although this enchanting album -- songs of the Sephardic Jews of Spain -- might seem a departure for Wellington-based jazz singer Carolina Moon, she has previously explored what we might call world music, although never with this depth and resonance.

These glorious songs -- intimate, yearning, emotional -- come from centuries ago but are here arranged for delicate piano (Kevin Field), guitars (Nigel Gavin), violin (Jessica Hindin), upright bass, hand drums and saxophones (Roger Manins). The effect is ancient music which sounds contemporary, and Moon has the vocal dexterity to explore the subtle glissandi of the style.

Where these effect a perfect marriage -- as on Como La Rosa where Moon stretches into jazz phrasing and embellishment, Yo Hanino tu hanina with keening violin and sax, the traditional Israeli song Yad Anuga -- they can be quite transporting and you could imagine yourself outside the wall of the Alhambra.

An album which embarks on a courageous journey but which will take you along for an exotic, often quite moving, voyage of discovery.  

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mark robinson - Mar 14, 2011

World class music from Carolina and the band. This is as good as anything you will hear coming out of Europe on the specialist "World Music" labels. Excellent playing, arrangements and production proving that NZ has passionate, exceptional musicians.

Angela - Mar 21, 2011

The versatility and quality of the accompanying - or should I say featured - musicians adds such a lot to the theme [not quite the right word], the feeling, the aura.

John Fenton - Google: Jazz Local 32 - Jul 24, 2011

This is just wonderful. I think that the crossover between world music and jazz is becoming blurred and I am happy about that. In Europe no such boundary exists and so the likes of Paolo Fresu plays Jazz with Oud, ancient chants, Accordion etc. I was in the Alhambra and the ancient Seville Jewish quarter 2 years ago and Caroline and the band took me to the essence of that experience. Bravo Caro (and nice review)

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