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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Sofia Koutsovitis

By Bruce Miller
Published March 20, 2007

Ojalá
Self-released

Born in Buenos Aires, now living in New York, singer Sofia Koutsovitis draws inspiration from her two homes and places in between on her debut album. Backed by a seven-piece band, she tackles jazz as well as Argentine, Brazilian and Afro-Peruvian styles, often within the same song. Gutsy moves like basing “You Don’t Know What Love Is” on an Afro-Peruvian rhythm pay off. On three original compositions, Koutsovitis shows an affinity for jazz, rhythmic variation and dissonance. “El Suicida,” a Koutsovitis-scored poem by Jorge Luis Borges, builds and ebbs, mixing open vocal passages and bursts of free jazz. The album’s ambitions place a lot of pressure on Koutsovitis to hold it together with her voice. Generally, she succeeds, singing with careful pitch control and emotion, although she seems more comfortable in some styles than others. A good listen for fans of adventurous music.