Latina songstress, broadcaster, actor and composer/lyricist, Amanda Martinez’ latest CD, Mañana is a zesty musical “Caldo” – brilliantly and authentically produced by Javier Limon and George Seara. The 12 tracks provide a tasty banquet of original, Mexican and Tejano-inspired compositions, served up with healthy doses of a tropically infused blend of the tart and the sweet. On Mañana, Martinez wears several hats – as artist, composer and lyricist, and the recording itself is a tribute to the musical influences of her beloved Mexico, imbued with contemporary and traditional motifs as well as stylish arrangements and superb musicianship and vocals from her fine ensemble.
Martinez’ co-creators include the talented bassist Drew Birston, singer Fernando Osorio, skilled guitarist Kevin Laliberte, Javier Limón (arranger and co-producer) and writers Elsten Torres, Daniel Martinez Velasco, Claudia Brant and Nana Maluca. All songs on Mañana are sung in Spanish, with the exception of three: “Frozen” – featuring Martinez’ intriguing narrative lyric, “Le Chemin,” rendered in flawless French, and the youthfully romantic and salsa-rific, “Let’s Dance,” sung in English. Martinez’ clairent, musical tone melded with her sibilant, colonial Spanish is a delightful treat for the ear, the heart and the soul. Her pure and supple voice is capable of communicating a range of potent emotions – from the deeply sensual to heartbreaking innocence.
Superb tracks include the optimistic and traditionally arranged “Esperanza Viva” – a fine composition by Brant and Maluca; the lilting Dias Invisibles, which is an inspired collaboration between Martinez and guitarist Laliberte replete with some delightful Burt Bacharach-ish horn lines. Also of particular beauty is Martinez and Limón’s “Ahora si te Canto” – a tender and evocative ballad, laden with lush and almost mystical, Iberian modalities as well as thoroughly stunning violin work by Osvaldo Rodriguez.
Concert note: Amanda Martinez launches Mañana with a concert at the Winter Garden Theatre on April 5.