Suni Paz, Bandera Mia: Songs of Argentina

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Forget the children music that brought her fame, this is one of the most heartfelt love letters to a country you’ll ever hear.

Veteran folklorist Suni Paz's love letter to her homeland is a delightful, airy affair that touches on all the facets of Argentinean music. There are traditional gato and zamba rhythms, and, of course, the sultry tango (“A Un Semejante”). “Baguala Tucumana Del Mollar” sounds very spare and tribal, while the swooping melody of “Casi, Casi” carries all the hallmarks of Andean music. It's not so much a travelogue as a pilgrimage, a complete journey from a woman who obviously takes deep pride in her country and its musical heritage. It's certainly a far cry from the children's music that's brought Paz fame, but her supple voice covers all the varied styles convincingly and passionately on an unashamedly romantic record, influenced not only by the varied traditions of Argentina, but also the nueva cancion of the '60s that affected Paz so deeply, and which was the basis of her music for so long. Sometimes homecomings can be very sweet.