Portada del álbum Confluencias, de Sigrid.

Sigrid and the will to join rhythms


It's been a few months now that Sigrid Armenteros was back on track with her second solo album, Confluences (EGREM, 2018), reinserting himself in the Cuban musical arena. Her name is still unknown to many, but she is not a newcomer. At 36 years old, this singer has been dedicated to music since adolescence and looking for the particular brio of her own label, capable of breaking down all defenses. Now let see what was to come.

Daughter of Máximo Armenteros, musician of Los Zafiros, takes the creation in the marrow of his bones. He was a member of Steel Band Habana, directed by Emilio Piñeiro, which allowed him to develop in the Caribbean sphere of calypso, merengue, son and guaracha.

Sigrid played the metallic drums, until in a presentation she dared in front of the microphone. Convinced that her site was in the songs, there began to develop the concern to compose their own songs. Step by step, collaborating with different groups, he joined the Cuban Rap Agency and began his solo career with the release of the album Walk it (2013).

With this second installment Sigrid proposes an intimate musical universe, with all the good and bad that comes with the audacity to try it. He departs a bit from his first album and offers a phonogram with less surprises in terms of rhythms and with a predominance of paternal afro jazz patterns, although he also presents a mixture of soul, pop ballad, funk, R & B and Latin jazz with contemporary arrangements.

Stands out in Confluences the rhythmic base on which they dialogue in different keys but with related emotions, the sound of the instruments that build a musical universe full of inflections. On this occasion, Sigrid has not been able to avoid the temptation to be flanked by some of the best instrumentalists of the circuit: Ernán Cortés on drums, Omar González on bass, Irán Farias on percussion, José Portillo on piano and Víctor Benítez on guitar sax and production.

the Intro which gives rise to the album is quite a cover letter with its own stamp. It promises the entrance of a good jazz record. You feel motivated to continue listening to the balanced and enjoyable download from start to finish.

However, the great disadvantage is that, after passing this starting point, the album leaves the listener with a bittersweet feeling. The voice of Sigrid too sweet, turns sometimes monochromatic, without nuances; fortunately there are exceptions like Trajectory, with a marked influence of bossa nova in jazz discourse; the pop ballad Silence; Y Not so rough or so cold, intimate detail inside the disc that closes the cycle initiated by Intro.

The fusion with which the vocalist tries to reorient its sound, seldom flows coherently and ends up being a kind of patching of rhythms united almost at random. As a more symptomatic example, Nothing with everything, a theme that starts high with a good download of jazz, to pass without preamble to an unexpected rap that as it arrives is going, giving march to a montuno with three included. Although it may have been the highlight of the record, the crossover stylistic remains divided into chapters and the song divided into syllables.

In Confluences only two versions appear. One of them is the theme Overjoyed, by Stevie Wonder, played by a Sigrid that is as dazzling as it is exasperating at times, with a misty diction that is lost among the arrangements and does not accompany the tempo of jazz on the track. The other side of the coin is You will stay, by Alberto Barreto, where the artist shows all her audacity by successfully adapting to the contemporary mode the song monster popularized by Benny Moré.

Unlike its first delivery, with Confluences The artist does not seek so much to create social awareness with her lyrics, but rather to give rise to the intimate atmosphere of the jazz club. But, although getting out of the way is always daring and enriching, its proposal in principle attractive does not make jump the sparkle. This new amalgam of expressive nuances and instrumental accompaniments first, does not serve much when you attend with lyrics that say little. With its ups and downs, Confluences returns the artist to the Cuban musical scene, while representing another step in a trajectory that is worth taking into account.

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