November 2005

The Amanda Martinez Sextet
November 7, 2005 The Montreal Bistro Toronto
Follow the Dream
by Joyce Corbett with photos by Roger Humbert
What a sorceress this songstress is. Smooth and sensuous, she sings and sways on the stage, enchanting you with her resonant voice. When she sings “Alcoba Azul” you are lost in the drama of the movie Frida and when she sings her composition, “Dragon” she takes you in. Once the lyrics have departed her lips, the insistent violin of Osvaldo Rodriguez builds to an intensity beyond words and we “feel the fire from her flaming tongue”.

The Amanda Martinez Sextet carries us through an evening of varied rhythms and moods, from the flamenco of “Cantame” co-written with the superb guitarist Kevin Laliberté, and the Gipsy Kings’ “Amor d’un dia”, through guajira (“Afrolatino”) and son/salsa (“Moliendo Café”).

“So Nice (Summer Samba)”, sung with great delicacy, is carried on a wave of rhythm with pianist Julio Ceasar Jimenez adding a little flourish to what can be a lackluster tune. This is a group of sensitive musicians who work well together, always communicating, listening to the whole while playing and listening closely while sitting out.

With smiles and a nervous laugh or two, Amanda introduces “La llorona”, a lachrymose lament based on a Mexican legend involving slain children and a murderous woman. Then she turns us inside out. Accompanying herself on guitar, she bends notes and hearts with the subtle modulations of her voice. As in cante jondo (deep song), we hear the attempted exorcism of tremendous pain. Kevin’s guitar and Osvaldo’s violin add to the spell.

When she sings “Look to the Rainbow” with the lyrics “sing whenever the world falls apart” and “Follow the fellow who follows a dream, follow the dream” you know that singing is at the core of her being. Another lyrically significant piece, written by Amanda and dedicated to her father is “Volar” (To Fly). Her father and her uncle, entered Canada on bicycles, having cycled all the way from Mexico, in the 1950s. She sings “I now have the strength to follow your adventures and your risks, your passion for living”. Amanda is following the fellow who follows a dream, following her dream.

The most wonderful thing for the audience is that she makes us dream too. Mexico, Andalucia, Camargue, gypsies dancing, scenes from Frida and El amor brujo.

The Amanda Martinez Sextet
Amanda Martinez — Vocals
Kevin Laliberté — Guitar
Julio Ceasar Jimenez — Piano
Osvaldo Rodriguez — Violin
Frank Marcos — Bass
Carlos Bloomfield Berry — Congas
We welcome your comments and feedback
Joyce Corbett
• • • • • •
Roger Humbert
• •
The Live Music Report

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2005