News photo

Chilean-born singer Claudia Acuna’s first two releases were beautiful, but somehow overproduced. The smooth backing, fast rhythms and occasional strings smothered her simple elegance. However, on her latest, “Luna,” that simple elegance is the centerpiece of every song.

On this first release with the MaxJazz label, noted for their distinctive (read “elite”) choice in vocalists, the backing enhances rather than hampers her sound. Her voice sounds stronger, and not just because she sings almost entirely in her native Spanish. Her longtime pianist, Jason Lindner, knows just where she is going, and encourages her with his cool Rhodes sound (as on the lovely “Tu, Mi Delirio”). A tasteful measure of Latin percussion and sleek, stately bass gives her vocals a buoyant lift (“Historias” romps), though the band often slows to a softly pulsing rhythm (as on “Arrimate Mi Amor”) that brings out her sultry intonation.

Acuna and Lindner cowrote most of the songs, too, giving them an intimacy that lets her emotions breathe. Spirited by Latin music and harmonized by jazz, this blend of minimalist cool and passionate delivery produces some gorgeous music.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.