Susana Catalana (Music Thoughts: Open Gate, Susana Sheiman)

1436102879_susana-sheiman-open-gate-2015I love certain accents, and I love them even more when people are singing with them. I know some people disagree with me – I have an old friend who despises it when singers pronounce English words incorrectly. One one end, I can understand – I mean, they should really learn the exact pronunciations. But sometimes, I like hearing certain cadences used, kind of like when you are in a tour of a country, and the local tour guide speaks English well, but with a native accent. I look at jazz singers that way as well.

I mention this because Susana Sheiman has a very distinct accent when she sings, being a non=native speaker of English. Sheiman was born in Madrid and is part of the local jazz scene in Barcelona. And that’s really the extent of what I know about her. Her accent when she sings is quite charming, in my opinion. On ‘Mood Indigo’ and “Angel Eyes,” for example,  the accent adds great flavor to her interpretation, and I like it. (I wonder how a Portuguese would feel about her Spanish accented version of ‘Girl From Ipanema’) But, honestly, her jazz style is not really my cup of tea, as she employs that wailing, screaming favored by late Betty Carter or Abbey Lincoln.  Actually, if not for the accent, I would probably be less favorable of her music. For example, her screams in ‘Love Won’t Let Me Wait’ ruin the song for me. And her originals are not even worth mentioning, to be truthful. So, I kind of like this disc, but, probably would not pull it from  a pile if I were looking for something to listen to.

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