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Laura Fygi has The Latin Touch

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Artist: Laura Fygi
Album: The Latin Touch
Label: Universal Music 2002
Make: XRCD2 Made in Japan
Music: Latin Jazz



I have always had fondness for all things Latin: the music, the dances, the exotic locations and eternal sunshine, the simplicity and joy of the peoples, and without sounding politically correct the beautiful women. There is something in the music that stirs the soul and makes one want to forget about life’s problems. I can almost say it is therapeutic. Of course it doesn’t help that as I am typing this, the weather outside is something that Mr. S. Claus is familiar with: temperature dipping at minus 16 Celsius and 20 cm of snow on my driveway. So while all this merry weather-making is going on, I simply put on something more festive and things become a lot better just like a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee and a pair of warm mittens. At the moment, I have on Laura Fygi’s The Latin Touch on XRCD2 which says something about how I really feel about this cold winter day: where is my airline ticket?

Laura Fygi, an attractive singer with a passing resemblance to a younger Sophia Loren, has been around in the music scene for a little while now, although she isn’t in the same exalted star-struck, fan-idolizing celebrity status as Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and a dozen other singers continually featured on Billboard’s Top 10 lists. She was originally part of a girl pop band Centerfold from the Netherlands and eventually started her solo career in the early 90s where she recorded a number of albums including one with Michel Legrand. In this particular album, The Latin Touch, she sings the songs in Spanish with three bonus tracks of the same Latin songs but sung in English. Laura’s remarkable talent for languages is to be admired; she sings so convincingly that one would have thought she was born somewhere in Latin America or Spain. Her accent is spot on and unlike some singers straining to put a correct note or pronunciation into the songs, Laura Fygi does it with conviction and a total naturalness. It can also be added that she is mature singer who is a consummate model of professionalism when she approaches each song.

She covers a number of well-known numbers including Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps), Perfidia, Bésame Mucho, and Amor. She is joined by a very sympathetic and excellent group of musicians who are not household names but are remarkably talented. I particularly enjoyed the percussion as played by Liber Torriente. In fact a number of songs including Como Fué have an incredible rhythm that makes one simply want to get up and dance. In Latin music, rhythm is everything. I always remember the scene in the movie, Strictly Ballroom, when the mother of the young girl that Paul Mercurio is dancing with comes up to him, and tap him firmly on the chest with her palm, indicating where the heart is, in order to demonstrate where the rhythm should come from. Of course this scene was crucial in getting the young dancer to understand what really goes on in the Paso Doble, a most difficult and rhythmic dance mimicking the actions of a matador. Back in 1992 when I used to take private lessons in ballroom dancing with a former international champion, I underwent the same process whether it was cha-cha, samba, merengue etc. It didn’t matter- rhythm was the king and the master. In this particular album there is rhythm in spades.

Each song is played with great sensitivity and an appreciation for the original music. There is nothing corny, and superficial about the approach. The recording is bold, vivid and very analogue sounding. I can always picture where Laura is singing and the instruments sit well before the speakers’ plane, which indicates good depth and perception to the soundstage. Laura Fygi’s voice has a sultry, and slightly husky feel to it, which has none of the girlish, fragile tones that some singers try to impose. Often I would use this disc as a demonstration one; taking it with me to try out different systems. There is never a dull moment in this album and with slower numbers like La Puerta and the opening track Historia De Un Amor, Laura Fygi sings it with great passion and understanding. Even on a cold winter day, somehow things are much warmer and enjoyable especially when one has the company of Laura Fygi singing with a first class group of musicians. Laura Fygi’s The Latin Touch is a hearty recommendation for those who crave both top musical performances complete with audiophile sonic qualities.



Track Listings:
  • Historia De Un Amor
  • Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
  • Perfidia
  • Abrázame
  • Como Fué
  • Solamente Una Vez
  • Bésame Mucho
  • Noche De Ronda
  • Piel Canela
  • La Puerta
  • Dimelo
  • La Mentira
  • Amor
  • Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado
  • You Belong To My Heart (Solamente Una Vez)
  • Amor (English Version)
  • What A Difference A Day Makes (Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado)
Performance: 10/10

Recording: 10/10


Reviewer: Jason Liu (Jan 22/05)
 

Spike

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DavidG

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Spike said:
Hi Jason, very nice review of Latin Touch. I'd like to suggest a few more along the line of well-known Latin music...

Sympathique by Pink Martini
http://www.pinkmartini.com/cd/pm_cd.html

Latenight Betty by Pepe & the Bottleblondes
http://www.bottleblondes.com/

For the classic Besame Mucho, my favorite is the simple presentation by April Aloisio in her Footprints CD.
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aloisio2?cdbaby=f3693699efefa166d986c0a9c39ca7d9

Spike
I'd have to agree on Pink Martini. Also try the new disk from Pink Martini with the unlikely title of 'Hang on Little Tomato' - it really is an amazing album.

Cheers,

David
 

rtagle

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Laura Fygi is one of my favorite singers. I love her "The LADY WANTS TO KNOW" album. It's so difficult to find her other albums. Where did you get this one?





Artist: Laura Fygi
Album: The Latin Touch
Label: Universal Music 2002
Make: XRCD2 Made in Japan
Music: Latin Jazz



I have always had fondness for all things Latin: the music, the dances, the exotic locations and eternal sunshine, the simplicity and joy of the peoples, and without sounding politically correct the beautiful women. There is something in the music that stirs the soul and makes one want to forget about life’s problems. I can almost say it is therapeutic. Of course it doesn’t help that as I am typing this, the weather outside is something that Mr. S. Claus is familiar with: temperature dipping at minus 16 Celsius and 20 cm of snow on my driveway. So while all this merry weather-making is going on, I simply put on something more festive and things become a lot better just like a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee and a pair of warm mittens. At the moment, I have on Laura Fygi’s The Latin Touch on XRCD2 which says something about how I really feel about this cold winter day: where is my airline ticket?

Laura Fygi, an attractive singer with a passing resemblance to a younger Sophia Loren, has been around in the music scene for a little while now, although she isn’t in the same exalted star-struck, fan-idolizing celebrity status as Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and a dozen other singers continually featured on Billboard’s Top 10 lists. She was originally part of a girl pop band Centerfold from the Netherlands and eventually started her solo career in the early 90s where she recorded a number of albums including one with Michel Legrand. In this particular album, The Latin Touch, she sings the songs in Spanish with three bonus tracks of the same Latin songs but sung in English. Laura’s remarkable talent for languages is to be admired; she sings so convincingly that one would have thought she was born somewhere in Latin America or Spain. Her accent is spot on and unlike some singers straining to put a correct note or pronunciation into the songs, Laura Fygi does it with conviction and a total naturalness. It can also be added that she is mature singer who is a consummate model of professionalism when she approaches each song.

She covers a number of well-known numbers including Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps), Perfidia, Bésame Mucho, and Amor. She is joined by a very sympathetic and excellent group of musicians who are not household names but are remarkably talented. I particularly enjoyed the percussion as played by Liber Torriente. In fact a number of songs including Como Fué have an incredible rhythm that makes one simply want to get up and dance. In Latin music, rhythm is everything. I always remember the scene in the movie, Strictly Ballroom, when the mother of the young girl that Paul Mercurio is dancing with comes up to him, and tap him firmly on the chest with her palm, indicating where the heart is, in order to demonstrate where the rhythm should come from. Of course this scene was crucial in getting the young dancer to understand what really goes on in the Paso Doble, a most difficult and rhythmic dance mimicking the actions of a matador. Back in 1992 when I used to take private lessons in ballroom dancing with a former international champion, I underwent the same process whether it was cha-cha, samba, merengue etc. It didn’t matter- rhythm was the king and the master. In this particular album there is rhythm in spades.

Each song is played with great sensitivity and an appreciation for the original music. There is nothing corny, and superficial about the approach. The recording is bold, vivid and very analogue sounding. I can always picture where Laura is singing and the instruments sit well before the speakers’ plane, which indicates good depth and perception to the soundstage. Laura Fygi’s voice has a sultry, and slightly husky feel to it, which has none of the girlish, fragile tones that some singers try to impose. Often I would use this disc as a demonstration one; taking it with me to try out different systems. There is never a dull moment in this album and with slower numbers like La Puerta and the opening track Historia De Un Amor, Laura Fygi sings it with great passion and understanding. Even on a cold winter day, somehow things are much warmer and enjoyable especially when one has the company of Laura Fygi singing with a first class group of musicians. Laura Fygi’s The Latin Touch is a hearty recommendation for those who crave both top musical performances complete with audiophile sonic qualities.



Track Listings:
  • Historia De Un Amor
  • Quizas, Quizas, Quizas
  • Perfidia
  • Abrázame
  • Como Fué
  • Solamente Una Vez
  • Bésame Mucho
  • Noche De Ronda
  • Piel Canela
  • La Puerta
  • Dimelo
  • La Mentira
  • Amor
  • Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado
  • You Belong To My Heart (Solamente Una Vez)
  • Amor (English Version)
  • What A Difference A Day Makes (Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado)
Performance: 10/10

Recording: 10/10


Reviewer: Jason Liu (Jan 22/05)
 
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