By Ed Goodstein, www.cdbaby.com

Volonté has become one of my favorite recent singers. She comes from the Argentinian tango tradition, & has albums in that traditional vein. However, this album continues the interesting explorations she has made in concert involving some jazz and a certain amount of pop folk (more in instrumentation than singing).

She has a very expressive voice that has touches of Piaf, Brazilian bossa trad., a swing element and rich pop mezzo huskiness that can be very sexy as well as pretty. There’re traditional tangos from Astor Piazolla here, but also more cabaret/jazz songs too– most notably perhaps the reflective “El Ultimo CafĂ©,” the sort of French ‘chanson’ (somewhat), marvelous “Nostalgias,” and some richer near-pop on “Chiquilin de Bachin” that recalls Michel Legrand almost. Her voice has wonderful variety moving around & coasting on the various aspects. The last couple are a bit more pop.

I don’t understand Spanish very much– but I don’t need to. She has one of the most assured, warmest, beautiful voices I’ve heard recently– & just enough dissonance and drama to keep things rooted in reality. Also excellent playing from her versatile band who can move from traditional tango sounds to near-Joni Mitchell pop folk. If interested in her more ‘tradional’ side, I also highly recommend her duo album “Fuimos” w. famous Latin jazz pianist Horacio Larumbe, & “Tangos.” Really a fantastic singer.