Patricia Cano is a breathtaking vocalist and seductive vocalist, and unlike any almost musician of her generation she can sing as if native in English, French, Spanish, and although she does not write in the Quechua language of the Andes, she can sing with great eloquence in that language too. She reveals this time and time again in her recordings and in performances, and now on this breathtaking album Madre Amiga Hermana where Miss Cano reveals herself as an artist of the first order yet again. Her instrument is gorgeous: lustrous, precise and feathertlight. Her musicianship is fierce as she digs into the expression of each word, brings ceaseless variety to dynamics and gives each phrase an airy grace.
Here are performances by Patricia Cano, Carlos Bernardo (Miss Cano’s writing partner) and Luis Orbegoso (who produced this album) to treasure for a lifetime with the vocalist at her most fragrant, light-filled and warmly communicative ever. Take for instance, the poetically-inspired “Caminando”, which Patricia Cano sings in phrases seeming to resemble series of sighs, the elegantly plucky guitar of Carlos Bernardo urging her ever onward. Hardly less beguiling are “Juana Guerrière” and “Carmela y Raúl” – dedicatory pieces for members of her family – in which she conveys not only reverence, but a mesmeric, youthful innocence enlivening the eternal vernal elegance of the former song with affective ornament, lightly articulated declamation and carefully controlled vibrato.
Tempos are justly chosen throughout and the appropriately resonant importance given to the complex, dancing traditional rhythmic forms of “Terre Mère” provides the icing on this most delicious cake. On “Morning Hymn” exquisite violin, viola and cello obbligato is a poignant supplication of fervent intensity where Patricia Cano brings great tenderness and expressive depth to the music. The broad sweeping gestures of “Toi et Moi” call all the gracefulness of French song to mind while “La vie comme si” with Mr Bernardo’s subtle guitar obbligato is of consummate beauty. In all of this, of course, one must sing the highest praises of Carlos Bernardo, guitarist, viola da gamba player and co-conspirator.
A Brasilian multi-instrumentalist, Carlos Bernardo brings delicate colour to this music where French, Brasilian and Spanish manners are subtly blended where each instrument (that he plays) participates in the ensemble as well as a soloist, somewhat in the manner of a skilled participant in a chamber orchestra or in a lieder duo. The music’s intimacy is sustained by both Patricia Cano and Carlos Bernardo – and throughout by Luis Orbegoso and the other musicians especially Kevin Barrett, whose star turn on guitar (“Gracias a la Vida”) is especially affecting. This is an outstanding release from a supremely talented songwriter and vocalist. The recorded sound is ideally spacious and transparent.
Track list – 1: Caminando, 2: Juana Guerrière; 3: Mi Maru; 4: Toi et Moi; 5: La vie comme si; 6: Terre Mère; 7: Morning Hymn; 8: Bridges (Travessia); 9: Carmela y Raúl; 10: Gracias a la Vida; 11: Woman on the Rise
Personnel – Patricia Cano: vocals, percussion; Carlos Bernardo: guitar (2, 3, 7, 10), guitars (1, 4 – 6, 8, 9), acoustic and electric guitars (11), viola da gamba (2), electric bass (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11), fretless bass (8), charango (2), bouzouki (6, 11), surdo (1), minor percussion (6), arranger (1, 3 – 8, 10, 11), co-arranger (2, 9); Paco Luviano: contrabass (1, 3, 5), electric bass (9); Luis Orbegoso: drums (8), cajón (1 – 5, 9 – 11), palmas (2), minor percussion (1 – 5, 10, 11), percussion (Culligan container, 6), background vocals (1, 2, 9, 10), vocal double (4), whistling (5) arranger (2, 9), co-arranger (4); Kevin Barrett: guitar solo (10); Nick Ross: violin and viola (7); Alexandra Lee: cello (2, 7); Mario Allende: floor tom (6); Sacha Williamson: backing vocals; Laurel Taubman: backing vocals; Party Vocals (9): Augusto Beingolea, Martha Beingolea, Cecilia Cano, Sarah Armitage, Cristina Beingolea Alarcón, Oscar Cano, Robyn Thomson and Stef Paquette.
Released – 2017
Label – Independent
Runtime – 51:23