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The Black Butterflies: Rainbows For Ramon

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Summertime"

The Black Butterflies is a Latin free-for-all led by reed multi- instrumentalist Mercedes Figueras, an Argentinean transplanted to New York City. Figueras and band follows up a well- received debut, 1 De Mayo (Self Produced, 2010), with Rainbows for Ramon. Reviewed in capable detail by Dan Bilawsky and Karl Ackermann, Rainbows for Ramon—and, in particular, Figueras' treatment of the Gershwin Brothers' standard—is worth some further elaboration.

Musical sincerity is inversely proportional to synthetic production: the more basic, organic, and authentic, the more musically sincere. Figueras' "Summertime" is a perfect melding of Latin and Tin Pan Alley in the humid ocean air of Southern climes. Introduced by bassist Nick Gianni's elastic vamp, dissolving into a simple three- note figure beneath Karl Berger's melodica, the standard is suspended over an orchestra of percussion that makes it perfectly clear where all influences come from. Figueras' saxophone is feral, with heated abandon that is nothing to compare to when she sings. Those languid, down-south lyrics, sung with a confident, Latin-inflected lioness' purr, are so carnal that the barometer bottoms out and you lose consciousness. Not bad for an old piece of music.

Track Listing: Intro to The 3 Monkeys; The 3 Monkeys; Together; Summertime; Rainbows For Ramon; Wind Chimes; Lumkili; Balafon Madness.

Personnel: Mercedes Figueras: saxophone; Tony Larokko: saxophone and percussion; Nick Gianni: bass; Levi Barcourt: piano; Bopa “King” Carre: percussion; Fred Berryhill: djembe, percussion; Kenny Wollesen: drums; Karl Berger: vibes, melodic.

Title: Rainbows for Ramon | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

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Album Reviews
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Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
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Luisa

Luisa

Self Produced
2017

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Rainbows for Ramon

Rainbows for Ramon

Self Produced
2012

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The Black Butterflies: Rainbows for Ramon

The Black...

Self Produced
2012

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Primero de Mayo

Primero de Mayo

Self Produced
2010

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The Black Butterflies:  1 de Mayo

The Black...

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2010

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