by Jonathan Blackman for Occhi Magazine

Occhi Feature: Acclaimed Singer Songwriter Eva Cortes Releases ‘Todas Las Voces’

  • December 4, 2020

Eva Cortes delivers a breathtaking performance in her newest release entitled Todas Las Voces.  The melodies, the harmonies, the lyrics… they all mix perfectly to form a tapestry of emotions that leave the speaker speechless.  Cortes forms an amazing cast of supporting musicians including the legendary bassist Christian McBride, special guest Luques Curtis playing bass on tracks 1 and 4, Elio Villafranca on piano, Roman Filiu on saxophone, Doug Beavers on trombone, Luisito Quintero on percussion, and Eric Harland on drums.

The album is filled with some amazing lyrics that are filled with so much emotional depth that one can tell Cortes has definitely lived a life full of experiences.  The title track Todas las Voces opens up the album that mixes proponents of flamenco and tango, which culminates into an inspired waltz with catchy harmonic changes.  Guest artist Luques Curtis takes a breathtaking solo that shows why he’s one of the most sought after bassists on the scene today.

“Desterrado” is an Afro-Cuban groove that has a dark seductive nature to it.  Cortes’s sultry voice floats over everchanging harmonic landscapes that teeter between an ominous feel and a state of euphoria.  “Hills of silver” is a very interesting song, with the lyrics juxtaposed to the harmonies underlying them, and a piano interlude that one could imagine taking place in a Schoenberg song.  Some exquisite trading takes place between McBride on bass and pianist Elio Villafranca.  The tune definitely takes some interesting twists and turns that make you wonder what’s coming next!  The mesmerizing “Gracias a la Vida” features a soulful duet between Cortes and saxophonist Roman Filiu throughout with both singing from their respective instruments.  The reflective feel of “Letters and picture frames” is embodied in the neo-soul reminiscent of the funk music of the late ’60s and early ’70s.  Christian McBride unabashedly shows his propensity for this style of music with one of the funkiest solos.  “Bird on a String” starts with a rubato feel with Cortes effortlessly playing with the contour of the melody and the words as she is accompanied by the piano.  A bossa like feel ensues and the playful nature of this tune shines through.

Eric Harland’s virtuosic solo at the end is truly a work of art, bringing this tune to an end.  McBride starts “Out of Worlds” with a dainty bassline that forms the basis for this reggae like tune.  With moments of sonoric suspense, the ebb and flow of this tune are to be admired.  Beavers delivers a melodic infused solo that feels good as it sits right in the pocket. “Solo le Pido a Dios” is a homage to the creator and truly embodies the essence of Cortes not only as an artist but as a human.  McBride wrote about Cortes saying “Perhaps most impressive is that she understands who she is, she understands her sound, and she embraces it” and I believe this statement truly rings true in this composition amongst all of the gems on this album.  Another funk-reggae tune comes to the forefront in the optimistic “Let me believe.”  The positive message that comes through can easily be used to start anyone’s day on a good note, and it is a joy to listen to.  McBride takes it home with a downhome blues that comes through in an all too brief solo at the end.  The final track of the album “Peace” by the late great Horace Silver, is done in a slow bolero like fashion, the tranquility of this selection is a perfect way to end the album.

I am very honored to have had the chance to experience the music on this album.  The artistry on display by Eva Cortes and all the artists involved is something truly remarkable to behold.  In a year that has been marred with the loss of life due to the pandemic and a country torn in two, it is a breath of fresh air to hear an album that recognizes the world we live in as it is, but still has hope for a brighter future.  Thank you, Eva Cortes!

To buy the album or for further information please visit the following links:

The album is brought to you by Truth Revolution Recording Collective.

Images: Courtesy of TRRC