Being the finest CD that Mercedes Sosa, known as La Negra, produced, Cantora (released in May 2009) is a fundamental project which presents duos with other notable singers and songwriters. In fact, Cantora is a two CDs set. Almost all who appear in this project are already well known artists outside their own countries (some like Shakira being worldwide superstars) and others are raising stars to watch in the future.

Mercedes Sosa was not just a great singer, she was a fundamental character in Latin American music. About the music itself, Sosa collaborated with her long time pianist and musical director Popi Spatocco. He dealt with a wide range of musical styles creating something very well rounded, traditional without being cheesy. One of the greatest songs from the first CD is "Sabiéndose De Los Descalzos" sung by Mercedes and well known Mexican star Julieta Venegas, who is also the composer of the song. Shakira also did a nice thing with Mercedes on the great version of Silvio Rodriguez's "La Maza", exploiting the subtleties of this song and adding her own middle-eastern touch. This CD includes some very unusual styles for Mercedes Sosa such as the argentine cumbia, in Leon Gieco's wonderful song "El ángel de la bicicleta" sung by the legendary Gustavo Cordera from Bersuit, who is comfortable with such rhythms. Another jewel here is the traditional zamba arrangement of argentine rocker-legend L.A. Spinetta's "Barro tal vez", sung by both Spinetta and Sosa. Something else to be mentioned is the wonderful mother-son relationship that Sosa had with a whole generation of legendary rock stars like Spinetta, García or Gieco who went to sing with her with the most utter respect and affection. She was for them like a connection with their elders and with the rich world of traditions that is fast disappearing.

In conclusion, Cantora is a great studio album and it is sad that in just a few months from its release she passed away.


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