Amandote - Marlin Ramazzini
Every musician carries in his or her back pocket a songbook of cover tunes picked up over time. But, for singers, tackling the classics, or more precisely, the jazz standards by which the vocal stylist is measured, is something of a badge of honour. Look at the popularity of The X Factor and The Voice and the new duets album featuring anybody who’s anybody with Tony Bennett. A singer is defined by the shoes they can fill and the walk they alone can bring. Then again, if you grew up in a place like say, Guatemala, surrounded by mambo, cha, cha, cha, salsa and son, the standards by which you measure your performance may come from an entirely different songbook. This is the story of a longtime staple on Vancouver’s Latin music scene, Marlin Ramazzini. As a young girl she already knew that music would be her master and her voice would be her ticket. She studied with the great dame of the Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo and learned to play the percussive polyrhythms of Latin music. Amondote ‘Loving You’ is the title of her new album. A love song of her own composition, it anchors the disc, setting the tone while standing apart. The rest of the album consists of her renditions of the songbook standards she always held in highest esteem. As you might imagine tracks like Besame Mucho, Fly Me To The Moon and Girl from Ipanema figure prominently, but she also offers up surprising Latin-flavored interpretations of more North American fare, like Bacharach and David’s The Look Of Love and The Days of Wine and Roses by Mancini and Mercer. Under the musical direction of her Juno-winning, bass playing husband, Fito Garcia, the arrangements are bright, brassy and beautiful, but never over-powering the siren’s voice that is the star of Amandote.