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volanda
Anna Estrada – Volanda

Volando – the cover of which features a bird, the lilac-breasted roller – includes a famous number with the line “we’re creatures of the wind,” which also fits the album’s flying motif. That song, in a distinctly relaxed rendition, is “Wild Is the Wind,” which Estrada grew to love in both David Bowie’s more dramatic version and the interpretation by her key early teacher, West Coast jazz singer Madeline Eastman. An aficionado of Brazilian music, co-producer Ray Scott suggested doing “E Preciso Perdoar” (Forgiveness Is Necessecary) – a song Estrada knew via Brazilian jazz singer Flora Purim – as a reverse partido alto, a variation on the samba rhythm. Estrada first heard “Mais Que Nada” (More Than Anything) as a teen living in Mexico City and listening to LPs by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. “It’s a song about wanting to get on the dance floor,” she explains. “We do it as a samba-reggae – it’s one of the most popular songs at my live shows.”

Estrada adapted the original Portuguese lyrics for the album’s Spanish-language version of Lenine’s “Paciência” (Patience), and for her friend Shannon Bryant’s song “Dueño de mi Corazón,” Estrada wrote her own Spanish lyrics. “I grew up crossing borders culturally and geographically, having lived in Tijuana and Mexico City when I was young,” Estrada says. “It’s interesting: English has a larger vocabulary than Spanish, which allows you to be incredibly specific. Ironically, the smaller vocabulary makes Spanish richer. Words sometimes change meaning based on their context, giving the language an ambiguity that often imbues the simplest phrases with double meaning. There can be an appealing mystery in that.” As for the Spanish translation of “Begin the Beguine” as “Al Empezar el Beguin,” Estrada chose the rendition by Berkeley professor Coby Lubliner. “There was a Spanish version that Julio Iglesias had a hit with, but I prefer Coby’s so much more,” she insists. “It’s closer to Cole Porter’s original, much like the Gene Lees version of `Desafinado’.”

One of the album’s highlights is Grever’s “Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado” (When I Return to You). Estrada says, “The English lyrics for `What a Diff’rence a Day Makes’ fit the phrasing of this melody better, but they don’t have the same romantic intensity as the original Spanish words, which ring very true about love and sex, the vulnerability of intimacy.“

Estrada started out her career in performing as an actress in theater and television, and that informs her approach to music-making, she says: “I’m always trying to connect with an audience and tell a story, convey an emotional message – and the way a melody changes in a song builds tension and release in a dramatic way. As for doing the songs in several different languages, I want the songs and their stories to speak to as many different types of listeners as possible.”

1. Wild Is the Wind (Tiomkin & Washington) 4:30
2. Cuando Vuelva a Tu Lado (Grever) 5:46
3. Happiness Is a Warm Gun/I Want You (Lennon & McCartney) 6:18
4. Mais Que Nada (Ben) 3:37
5. Paciencia (Lenine & Falcão) 4:12
6. Dueño de mi Corazón (Bryant & Estrada) 4:34
7. Al Empezar el Beguin (Porter) 5:30
8. Everybody’s Talking (Neil) 4:19
9. Pure Imagination (Bricusse & Newley) 6:31
10. E Preciso Perdoar (Torreão de Costa & Luz) 6:40

Bonus Tracls
11. Paciência (Portuguese version) 4:13
12. Dueño de mi Corazón (acoustic version) 3:31

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