Silvana Kane, La Jardinera as reviewed in Phantom Tollbooth

Simple and soft, the collection that is La Jardinera enters the listener’s sphere of consciousness making itself at home to stay.

La Jardinera (The Gardener)
Artist:           Silvana Kane
Label:           Six Degrees
Release Date: November 13, 2012
Duration:      10 tracks, 37:37

Silvana Kane’s solo debut, La Jardinera, pays tribute to the South American musical heroes of her youth. Kane’s vocals are dream-like, soft and sensuous, similar to Judy Collins’ early work. All vocals on La Jardinera are in Spanish leveraging her Peruvian background and giving to the South American folk songs. Kane, on vocals, is accompanied by Adam Popowitz on guitars and banjo, Toby Peter on bass and Malcolm Aiken on trumpet.

Her youth, like her career in music, has been global. Born in Lima, Peru her family moved to Vancouver, Canada at a young age. From Vancouver they moved back to Peru, then to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and again to Vancouver. Along the way Kane grew musically picking up piano and violin while becoming fluent in both Spanish and English.

Prior to her solo career, Kane was a member of the global touring bands West End Girls and Pacifica (Popowitz and Peter are also founding members of Pacifica). What is often forgotten are Kane’s acting skills (she has acted in 3 TV spots and one movie, “Loser”). To add to a generous resume, she has also written two soundtracks.

A stealthy, dream-like quality begins the collection in “Caro O Cenizq” (Thistle Of Ash?) accented by Miles Davis-like trumpet by Malcom Aiken. “Como La Cigarra” (Like The Cicada) is a romantic ballad with solid acoustic guitar accompaniment. Strong trumpet and underlying banjo gives “Cruces” (Crosses) a folk feel, Listen for Kane’s smoky-soft vocals. Backing trumpet accented by soulful whistling gives deep emotional feel. “Cruces” is also recorded on Pacifica’s Unveiled LP.

Kane’s version of “Duerme Negrito” (Sleep Blackie) is powerful, yet simple in its presentation with acoustic guitar sliding from chord to chord giving Kane’s interpretation of this Latin American folk song wings. Breaks in both music and lyric spice up this Latin American folk / lullaby song. “La Jardinera” (The Gardener), the album’s namesake, is a soft acoustic lullaby bound to produce dreams of quiet peace. This song about a woman healing from a love affair by tending her garden underlies the album’s overall message of love and nature.

Among remaining tunes, “Todo Cambia” (Change All) continues the dream-like essence of the album and “Vida Ilena” (Full Life) (one of two songs on this collection written by Kane) has passionate lyrics accented by solid percussion.

Simple and soft, the collection that is La Jardinera enters the listener’s sphere of consciousness making itself at home to stay.

Scott S Mertens


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