Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Issac Delgado "L-O-V-E" cd review




On August 31, Sony Masterworks will release L-O-V-E by Cuban superstar Issac Delgado. On L-O-V-E, Delgado recreates 12 sultry and sexy Spanish recordings originally sung by crooner Nat King Cole. He does so with the help of a number of outstanding musicians including a special contribution by Nat King Cole’s brother, Freddy Cole. This is the first time that Freddy Cole has participated in a tribute album for his brother.

Nat King Cole’s relationship with the Spanish language is interesting and relatively unknown. Between 1958 and 1962, Nat King Cole released his three albums in Spanish. Recorded in Cuba, Brazil and Mexico, they included hits ‘Perfidia’, ‘Quizás, quizás, quizás’, ‘Ay cosita linda’, ‘Piel canela’, ‘Aquellos ojos verdes’ and ‘Yo vendo unos ojos negros’. His Spanish albums created a new awareness for Latin-American music globally. Among Nat King Cole’s fans was Cuban vocalist Issac Delgado who grew up listening to Cole’s Spanish recordings which he felt combined Cuban bolero music with the sounds of classic American romantic ballads.

Often referred to as the “Frank Sinatra of salsa” Delgado started studying music formally at the age of 10 when he attended the Amadeo Roldán and Ignacio Cervantes music conservatories. At 18, he debuted with the Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s Grupo Proyecto, to later start playing with the Pacho Alonso Orchestra and NG La Banda. This latter contribution helped him to become one of the most important representatives of timba, a new style created from Afro-Cuban music. In 1991, he debuted as a solo artist and has since recorded a dozen albums and traveled around the world as “El Chévere de la Salsa”.

Eight of the twelve songs on L-O-V-E can be found on Nat King Cole’s three Latin albums and the remaining four, are Cole classics that Delgado reinterprets in Spanish by infusing his own personal style and Latin Jazz elements into each one. A charismatic musician, Delgado transforms these 20th century classics into 21st century masterpieces while staying true and authentic to his Cuban roots.

Of the recordings Freddy Cole says, “A good song can become the shortest way between two hearts, especially when the best singers and performers hold our hands to take us there. Issac Delgado belongs to this generation of stars. He successfully and newly versioned, for a new generation of listeners, the essence and the spirit of the classic albums my brother recorded from the late fifties. It’s been a great honor and a true pleasure to be part of this recording. This is the kind of music that always fills our hearts”.

The album features a long list of guest musicians including music director and pianist John di Martino, contrabassist Charles Flores, drummer Dafnis Prieto, percussionist Pedro Martinez, guitarist Romero Lubambo, clarinet and saxophone player Ken Peplowski, trombonist Conrad Herwig and trumpeter Brian Lynch. The stellar array of musicians also includes the great Cuban singer Xiomara Laugart “La Negra”, and Issac Delgado Jr. as backing vocalist. L-O-V-E was produced by Nat Chediak, Delgado and Fernado Trueba. L-O-V-E is a Calle 54 Records production released by Sony Masterworks in the U.S.


1. Perfidia

2. Quizás, quizás, quizás (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)

3. Tiernamente (Tenderly)

4. Ay Cosita Linda

5. Suas Maos

6. A Su Mirar Me Acostumbre (I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face)

7. Piel Canela

8. Aquellos Ojos Verdes (Green Eyes)

9. L-O-V-E

10. Yo Vendo Unos Ojos Negros

11. Hojas Muertas (Les Feuille Mortes)

12. No Tengo Lagrimas (Nao Tenho Lagrimas)

U.S. Tour Dates (partial list, more to be confirmed)

9/7 Triple Door Seattle / WA

9/8 Anthology San Diego/CA

9/9 Conga Room LA / CA

9/10 Yoshi’s Oakland / CA

9/11 Yoshi’s Oakland / CA

9/12 Yoshi’s Oakland / CA

9/13 Kuumbwa Jazz Center Santa Cruz / CA

9/24 Concert Hall NY / NY

My thoughts-This music took me back to the days when my grandma use to be alive. I love listening to this type of music. It has soul and a spirit. These are Nat King Cole's signature songs in Spanish with Isaac's Cuban flair added to them. Nat's brother Freddy collaborated in this cd as well. I like the sultriness of the music, and loved Isaac's voice. I loved all the songs.

***Disclosure-I received a copy of Issac Delgado "L-O-V-E" cd to review. No monetary compensation was received. These are my honest opinions as a music lover.

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