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Leyla McCalla - Vari - Colored Songs - 2013


Born in New York and living in New Orleans, Leyla McCalla anchors her roots in Haiti. She is a member of Carolina Chocolate Drops, an American folk music group, she makes her solo debut with Vari-colored songs, an old school sonorous treatise that links the blackness of the Caribbean with the African American folk and blues heritage. She is a notable singer and outstanding cello player that she here plays without a bow, pinching the strings (she also plays banjo and guitar).

Leyla herself pays tribute to the poet, novelist and essayist Langston Hughes, whose work is linked to the so-called Harlem Renaissance. McCalla sets some of his vibrant poems to music. She also reviews other Hughes writing harmonized by Kurt Weill. In addition, the repertoire includes traditional songs sung in Creole (she recovers Kamèn sa w fè?, A piece recorded in Port-au-Prince, in 1937, by the musicologist Alan Lomax). Vari-colored songs is the work of a singular and necessary artist in times of excess and forgetfulness.

Leyla McCall has been a part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops for the past two years. The cross-pollination of her Haitian roots with the African-American folk blues tradition endows her music of her with a unique, highly poetic freshness.

Leyla McCalla - Vari-Colored Songs (2013)

A Tribute to Langston Hughes 

01. Heart Of Gold (3:00)

02. When I Can See The Valley (2:12)

03. Mesi Bondye (2:27)

04. Girl (2:53)

05. Kamen sa w fe? (2:21)

06. Too Blue (2:27)

07. Manman Mwen (3:19)

08. Song For A Dark Girl (2:51)

09. Love Again Blues (2:40)

10. Rose Marie (2:57)

11. Latibonit (3:49)

12. Search (3:19)

13. Lonely House (3:26)

14. Changing Tide (3:00)

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