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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Ecos De Portoalegre – Ecos De Portoalegre

Ecos De Portoalegre – Ecos De Portoalegre
2009, Ecos De Portoalegre

Montreal has been blessed with Ecos De Portoalegre; perhaps the most exciting group on the city’s World Music Scene. Featuring members from four countries in South America, Ecos De Portoalegre offers up a vital and original blend of Jazz, Salsa and Latin-American rhythms. Ecos De Portoalegre released their self-titled debut album in 2009, featuring amazing instrumental work and the sensuous and sensational voice of Anamaria Gonzalez.

Ecos De Portoalegre opens with Tierra Nuestra, a delicious bit of Latin Jazz. Gonzalez is sensational with a warm and raw sound that’s unforgettable. Songoro Cosongo Songo will make you want to dance at all costs. The song is done call and response style and features amazing piano work from Pablo Samuel Castro. Nubladito has a Cuban feel with strong movement and rhythm. Gonzalez sings in a duet that is powerful. Interlunio is the prologue for No Me Desampares, which is just Gonzalez and acoustic guitar. It’s a wow moment.

Historia Del Fuego finds Ecos De Portoalegre gravitating into the highly danceable and rhythmic Latin Pop realm. The song is done up with piano, brass and loads of percussion, but never sounds overdone. Movil features a rap and comes up short of expectations. Rumpa Pa Fidel is a high energy tune with a strong, clear vocal line and a party atmosphere. Ecos De Portoalegre closes out with Sig Cantando, moving from smooth lyricism to urgent happiness; a highly enjoyable closing track.

Ecos De Portoalegre is the most enjoyable Latin Jazz album I've heard in some time. Anamaria Gonzalez is a star, and with a band like this at her side its hard to imagine how things could go wrong. It's simply a matter of time before Ecos De Portoalegre is playing big stages far beyond the reaches of Montreal.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Ecos De Portoalegre at You can purchase copies of Ecos De Portoalegre on CD or as a Download from

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