Kat Parra - Destani Wolf
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Kat Parra
Birds in Flight
JazzMa (www.katparra.com)

Destani Wolf
Again and Again
Brave Wolf Productions (www.destaniwolf.com)

Recent releases by two San Francisco Bay Area singers confirm the continued emergence of musical talent from Northern California. On her debut recording, Chilean Kat Parra, an alum of the San José State University jazz program, calls on trombonist, composer and arranger Wayne Wallace to produce, backed by a host of solid session players on piano, guitar, woodwinds, brass, strings, drums and percussion. Singing in English, Portuguese and Spanish, Parra's airy soprano breathes new life into popular Brazilian music (Jorge Ben's "Mais que nada"), trova (Silvio Rodríguez's "Oleo de una mujer" and Charly García's "Quizas porque"), show tunes (Oscar Hammerstein's "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise"), classic jazz (Ellington and Tizol's "Caravan"), traditional Sephardic song ("Cuando el Rey Nimrod") and her own compositions.

Destani Wolf is a veteran of the a cappella group SoVoSo, a Bobby McFerrin project, and also performed with Bay Area fixtures including Bobi Cespedes and John Santos, Cuban piano genius Omar Sosa, and fronted the short-lived but path-breaking Bay Area Afro Latin hip-hop ensemble O-Maya, whose R&B, rap, ska, soca, DJ sampling and Latin folkloric experiments made the most of Wolf's alternately smoky, soaring mezzo-soprano. She possesses the exceptional expressive capacity to knock the listener flat with the soulful beauty and inalienable truth of her extraordinary voice. On Again and Again, very much in the spirit of O-Maya's repertoire, but with a softer, more romantic feel, Wolf authored or co-authored all dozen compositions in an eclectic, retro vein imprecisely described as Latin soul, sung in English and Spanish. Wolf's is a passionate voice of immense potential. - Michael Stone

Kat Parra available from CD Baby
Destani Wolf available from cdroots

 

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