After watching Peruvian singer Susana Baca perform on an open stage in burning heat with malfunctioning equipment, one can’t help but respect Baca not only as a voice but as a performer, as a person. She had a reason to be irritable. Instead, she showed the elegant good cheer of a movie star in an early talkie. Her character comes through in Seis Poemas, a short album that sees her evoke her way through six songs with a combination of grace, sinew and, nowadays, age—the sixtysomething years that have passed through her mouth have left her with a slight, softening hiss that does distinctive things to the pronunciation of her S’s. The alertness of her delivery brings out those bits of roughage that make the voice hers. There is a nice rapport between this sensitivity and the more mechanical, though acoustic, slap of the percussion. Seis Poemas draws inspiration from Lorca and the Afro-Peruvian singer Chabuca Granda, who died in 1983. A small album but a charming one.
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// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article