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Anna Estrada

Volando

Feral Flight Productions

Talk about a multi-skilled musician: not only does Ms. Estrada have a sultry late night jazz voice, sexy arrangements, and an alluring sound, but she also fences, acts, and if this entertainment thing falls though, she can legally apply Propofal to medical patients. We'll focus on the non-medical aspects of her skills; I'm tracking her latest release Volando and I'm right back in Rio with Fred Astaire and Cole Porter and all those tuxedoed dance clubs.

There's a touch of everything here -- well, everything that involves danceable jazz, saxophones, and congas. Ms. Estrada slides easily between English, Spanish and Portuguese, and you never know what's around the corner on this disc: hot rumba for "Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado," a slow dance cover of "Happiness is a Warm Gun," a Carlos Santana-styled "Mais Que Nada" and Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talking," done as a Samba that buries the melancholy of the original under a speed demon rhythm track. All-star musicians back her, Ray Scott does her arranging, Al Bent melts the trombone, Jonathan Alford kills on keys, and a dozen more big names dominate the other instruments. The title translates as "Flying," and there's a real sense of air under her wings as she effortlessly glides over the music, making everything sound easy and effortless. There's no bad vibes on these vibraphones, just Latin love and mojitos late into the night.

Anna Estrada: annaestrada.net