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Last week I received and auditioned a new cd by a Mexican jazz singer now based in New York. Her name is Magos Herrera. I’ve known about her for a few years and have listened to her music, which I liked but was not completely captivated.
That changed with the new album. Only now I realized what a fine singer and accomplished artist she is. Only now do I find out she studied here in LA at the Musicians Institute, then at the prestigious New England Conservatory.
There are many artists from Mexico that we know from labels like Nacional Records. MIS (Mexican Institute of Sound, actually an EMI executive moonlighting as a band)’ Nortec Collective, Café Tacuba are just a few bands that are well-established in the US and well-known to KCRW listeners.
But there are very few Mexican artists that go into the jazz arena, and we are fortunate to have Magos Herrera’s music for that very reason. Her talent puts here up there with the best jazz singers. The new album, on the consistently excellent Sunnyside label, is called México Azul. She’s working with jazz pros like Adam Rogers, John Patitucci, Luis Perdomo, and others. The cd has wonderful originals like “Voz Antigua” as well as classic heartbreakers like “Dos Gardenias”, Agustin Lara’s “Azul”, and Pedro Flores’ song Obsesión. She sings with both tenderness and sultriness, her phrasing precise and beautifully finished. It’s like a fine and elegant wine and I am most certainly enjoying it.
Magos Herrera: Voz Antigua
Here is a nice video of her doing “Como un Poeta”