La Noche Más Larga
Warner ***1/2
Anyone whose songs appear on an Almodóvar film as Estrella Morente’s did on Volver or Concha Buika’s did on The Skin I Live In reaches a new audience. The Mallorcan singer’s approach, an artist of some sincerity and passion who has been around the block once or twice and even Latin Grammy-nominated five years ago for Niña de Fuego, embraces the improvising impulse within a romantic copla framework and deserves the exposure. But La Noche Más Larga (The Longest Night) is better than any isolated film soundtrack appearance could ever achieve featuring as it does a mix of originals and songs by Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and Ernesto Lecuona (the evergreen ‘Siboney’) among others. Pat Metheny guests memorably on ‘No Lo Sé’ and while Buika’s version of Brel’s ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ doesn’t quite gel, everything else here makes perfect sense. The Dino Ramos song ‘La Nave Del Olvido’ is the highlight for me where Buika really comes alive against atmospheric trumpet and a scintillating beat. SG