Frisell and Cantuária Create Something Extraordinary

Bill Frisell & Vinicius Cantuaria - Lágrimas Mexicanas
Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuária

Lágrimas Mexicanas (Entertainment One Music, 2011)

Guitar guru Bill Frisell and Brazilian singer, musician and songwriter Vinicius Cantuária have teamed up once again for the lushly exotic Lágrimas Mexicanas, out on the Entertainment One Music label. A wholly collaborative effort, the pair composed and experimented with the sound on Lágrimas Mexicanas, finding inspiration in the rich Spanish-speaking communities and the feel of the streets of New York City.

In an artful melange of Brazilian and Latin rhythms by Mr. Cantuária and Mr. Frisell’s signature stunning guitar work, Lágrimas Mexicanas shines with an inner warmth and fairly swings as the pair merge their individual sounds into something extraordinary.

Lágrimas Mexicanas opens with the darkly, tangy sweet “Mi Declaración” with Mr. Cantuária weaving his sultry spell with percussion and rich vocals against Mr. Frisell’s lanky guitar lines, making this track a winner with a slick, street groove background.

Opening with rangy guitar lines, “Calle 7” has jazz hip sound that set a comfortable mood for Mr. Cantuária’s plummy vocals. With all the slickness stripped away “La Curva” is all charm, sounding of equal parts Mexican folk tune and feel-good jazz standard. Brazilian rhythms rein over the spice of title track “Lágrimas Mexicanas” but it’s the vocals and heady guitar lines that make this track a stunner.

“El Camino” is another gem with bright guitar lines that some how evoke an open road sound. Equally good is richly Brazilian flavor of “Aquela Mulher” and fascinating experimentation on “Briga De Namorados.” Flashing a little retro sound “Forinfas” is simply charmingly sassy.

The brilliance of Lágrimas Mexicanas really comes as no surprise considering the work of Mr. Frisell and Mr. Cantuária. I simply can’t imagine where if you had either one of these that a recording would be a flop, so having both just makes the collaboration all the more interesting and the results spectacular.

Fresh, innovative and downright delightful, Lágrimas Mexicanas is excellent listening.

Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuária recordings available:

Bill Frisell recordings available:

Vinicius Cantuária recordings available:

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.


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