May 25, 2011
While most female singers are covering the Great American Songbook, Magos Herrera has returned to her native Mexico for an album of material from the country’s Golden Age of cinema and television. Sung mostly in Spanish, Mexico Azul is an enjoyable mix of jazz sensibilities with traditional Mexican songs, co-produced by Ms. Herrera and Tim Reis.
Ms. Herrera has assembled an outstanding band for the album, most notably trumpeter Tim Hagans and bassist John Patitucci.,and uses them wisely. She doesn’t hesitate to throw Brazilian beats behind “Que Sea Para Mi” or duel with Hagans on “Lamento Jarocho”. In doing so, Ms. Herrera recalls singers like Flora Purim with her range and sense of rhythm. The subtle percussion and Miles-like solo on “Tres Palabas” recall moments in Sketches of Spain, when another artist successfully mixed jazz and world sounds.