Anna Estrada | Obsesion

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Jazz: Latin Jazz World: World Fusion Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Anna Estrada

Latin & Brazilian Jazz. Fascinating Rhythms. Lyrical Vocals.
Genre: Jazz: Latin Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. La Mentira
5:27 $0.99
2. Nature Boy
6:05 $0.99
3. Carta Ao Tom 74
6:14 $0.99
4. Obsesión
4:37 $0.99
5. Llorona
6:09 $0.99
6. Upa Neguinho
4:02 $0.99
7. Flor Sin Retoño
4:12 $0.99
8. Always Something There To Remind Me
4:47 $0.99
9. Soledad
3:32 $0.99
10. Adeus America
5:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Obsesión, the powerful new release by Bay Area singer Anna Estrada, features a collection of love songs that suggest markers of an improbable, winding road that has led her back home.

“Music was always part of my life,” says Anna. “But families have a tendency to have roles for each member. In my family the person who had the voice was my mother. So none of us would think of singing because my mother was the one who had the gorgeous voice.”

“My mother had dreams of being a singer, but she came from a very challenging background,” recalls Anna. “She was taken out of school at an early age because she had to work. The only reason she finished primary school was because the principal came and pleaded with my grandmother.”

So perhaps not surprisingly, when the time came for Anna to go to college, her parents didn’t want her to get a degree in fine arts. “They wanted a ‘real degree,’ as they put it,” says Anna. “I had a lot of family pressure to do something ‘valuable’ that would support me.”

So Anna studied medicine instead of fine arts. She became an Emergency Room doctor and later, specialized in anesthesiology, a job she still does part time. Still, all along she acted, including work at the Magic Theater, Theater in the Square, and Brava, as well as industrial films and television.

But then music came back into her life full force. “By 2001 I hadn’t done any acting for awhile, and I needed to do something creative, so I took a beginners jazz vocal class -- and I loved it, so I decided to get serious.” In 2002, she began studies with singer Madeline Eastman and Brazilian keyboardist and educator Jovino Santos Neto, the longtime collaborator of Brazilian composer and multi instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal. And by 2008 she released her debut CD Soñando Vuelos, which earned acclaim as "…one of the best Brazilian/Latin jazz albums released in 2008. With so many jazz vocalists producing music these days, Anna Estrada makes a compelling musical statement..." — Edward Blanco, All About Jazz

Now with Obsesión (October XX, Feral Flight Productions), her second album, produced in collaboration with guitarist and arranger Ray Scott, Anna claims her place as a singer – as she closes an old family debt.

The stunning set, featuring songs in English, Portuguese and Spanish, suggests a look at love in its many forms, from romance and friendship to love of country. It includes reflections on passion and deceit (“La Mentira,” a classic bolero played here to an up-tempo samba groove, and the title track, done in a danceable version), as well as smart reworkings of “Nature Boy,” and Burt Bacharach’s 60’s hit “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

The choices are all personal, meaningful, says Anna – perhaps that’s why, in some instances, she had to be nudged to record them.

“Some of the tunes on this CD are great songs that I didn’t want to do, not because I didn’t like them, but because so many people had done them already and I wasn’t sure what I could bring that would be different. But Ray encouraged me to record them – and I’m glad he did.”

A good example is “Llorona,” a traditional Mexican song that alludes to an old, tragic folk tale about the ghost a woman, weeping for her children, whom she drowned in a moment of rage and madness. Anna’s dramatic but understated reading, is subtly underlined by Damien Masterson’s harmonica, both mournful and unsentimental.

“I love that song, I sing it on my gigs, but I didn’t want to record it. It’s been done so much that I felt there was nothing new I could bring to it. Ray wanted to do it, and I wasn’t sure -- but I didn’t hear what he was hearing. We recorded the song with the rhythm section and then Damien came on a separate day and did the harmonica track. When Ray brought it home I was blown away.”

The centerpiece of the disc however, might be “Flor Sin Retoño,” an old classic perhaps best known as performed by legendary Mexican actor and singer Pedro Infante, a 1940s and 50s film star, and more recently rediscovered by artists such as Colombian pop singer Charlie Zaa.

Back in March Anna’s father, who has just celebrated his 100th birthday, woke up and told her he had dreamed of Anna’s mother, who passed away three years ago. He dreamed of her, he said, singing a certain song. “And he sang it for me, I recognized it as the very first song my mother taught me,” says Anna. “It was ‘Flor Sin Retoño.’ And I knew then that I had to record it.”

In Obsesión, Anna reinterprets it like a bolero-danzón over a simple, unadorned accompaniment.
“The sweetest moment for me came when I played it for my dad. He listened and after it finished he stayed really, really quiet, and finally he said ‘Como lo haces?’ (How do you do it?) And I didn’t understand. ‘Como haces para fingir?’ (How do you manage to simulate?) And I still didn’t understand. And then he says, ‘Parece que es tu mamá’ (It sounds like your mom) and I just wanted to cry.”

“My mother sang it, my father dreamed of her singing it; for me this song is imbued with a lot of things.”

In fact, the whole album speaks of personal memories and discoveries, love found and lost and, sometimes, found again. It’s one woman’s story, with familiar echoes yet deeply personal.

As for those who might listen, Anna has a simple wish. “I’m doing songs I really love,” she says. “And I’m hoping that at some level I’m giving the listener some of the joy I get out of singing them.”

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