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Pankovits, Nikolett: Magia

Hungarian born vocalist Nikolett Pankovits moved to New York City in 2010 where she embraced the Latin jazz community with open arms. On her debut album Magia she takes Hungarian folk songs and standards infusing them with Latin American rhythms producing excellent results.

The guest list of musicians is extensive and includes her husband Juancho Herrera (guitar), Zach Brock (violin), Jason Lindner (piano), John Benitez (upright bass), Yayo Serka (drums, percussion), Adriano Santos (drums, percussion), Josh Deutsch (trumpet), Greg Tardy (tenor saxophone), Ferenc Németh (drums), Keita Ogawa (percussion), Edward Perez (upright bass) and Jorge Roeder (upright bass).

First off, this is very serene and mellow album. The music does get more upbeat when the Latin influence comes through in songs like the infectious "Madárka, Madárka" where traditional Hungarian folk music has that joyous Latin feel as well as in the sultry Latin tones of "Fogadj El Engem" featuring fine tenor saxophone. Other tunes exhibit a melancholic tone like the gentle "Kis Kece Lányom" and the mellow but somber "Száz Panasz Ég A Dalomban". Throughout the album Pankovits' beautiful voice (in Hungarian and English) graces these tracks with a purity that is really quite exceptional. The musicians are also very good with shout outs to Herrera's acoustic playing, excellent trumpet work and some fine upright bass including use of the bow which is so prevalent on "Kis Kece Lányom" and the thoughtful but melancholic "Gloomy Sunday/Szomorú Vasárnap". The violin and trumpet back and forth solos In "La Dama De La Muerte" is another highlight.

Because of its mellow nature I am not sure how many listens this will get but rest assured this is quality folk/jazz music from an artist who is surely on the rise within the New York jazz community. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Kis Kece Lányom (2:16)
2. Madárka, Madárka (2:27)
3. Száz Panasz Ég A Dalomban (3:33)
4. La Dama De La Muerte (5:00)
5. Gloomy Sunday (4:15)
6. Don't Ask Me Who I Was (4:35)
7. Fogadj El Engem (3:58)
8. Bésame Mucho (5:42)
9. Stop For A Moment (4:24)
10. Where Do You Start? (4:22)

Added: January 28th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1654
Language: english

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