Album Review: Jaime Lozano Sings & Plays With The Familia On SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT Vol. 2

Another Collection Bursting With Sound & Life From The FAMILIA.

By: Sep. 26, 2023
Album Review: Jaime Lozano Sings & Plays With The Familia On SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT Vol. 2
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Album Review: Jaime Lozano Sings & Plays With The Familia On SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT Vol. 2 Heigh Ho, dear lovely rainbow tribe, welcome back to Bobby’s CD sandbox where we offer our broken-down breakdowns of new music releases. So, strap in and get ready, as Bobby goes on the record ABOUT the record.

This week’s album entry in the BobbyFiles comes from the fabulous immigrant Jaime Lozano and The Familia, who added another entry into his epic song cycle by releasing a second volume of Jaime’s SONGS FROM AN IMMIGRANT (Vol. 2). Jaime’s crew is one made up of brothers and sisters of his soul, along with his wife, the fabulous Florencia Cuenca, and, this time, for one cut on this new album, his little boy, Alonzo. It would seem that Lozano takes his spiritual familia with him wherever he goes, and this writer would venture to guess that Jaime works with people he loves as often as he can. At least that has been Little Bobby’s experience in hearing and seeing this composer/arranger/singer/musician at 54 below and last year when we reviewed The Familia in THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK SERIES at Lincoln Center. There’s where we heard Vol. 1 in this ever-evolving tapestry of his music. Well, now have Vol 2, and if any of you Bobby Fans out there have been fortunate enough to catch the live performances of this work, then you have been treated to a treasure trove of Latin beats and Mexican treats. As was intended by Mr. Disney with the creation of FANTASIA, a singular achievement in animation that was intended to grow through the years, SONGS FROM AN IMMIGRANT is an installment series chronicling the life of this familia in their “Papa’s” words and music. Leaving a lot of the heavy vocal lifting to his wife, Florencia Cuenca, and besties like Mauricio Martinez, Shereen Pimental, Robi Hager, Mandy Gonzales, Nicholas Edwards, and Javier Ignacio, Jaime’s music goes from romance to party to heartfelt and emotional representations of the immigrant experience in America.
 


Opening the album with THE STORIES WE SING OF, Jaime’s beautifully plaintive voice singing in English with his prominent accent is more than just charming, it is a message. His vocals are filled with character and emotion for where he comes from and where he is now… the life and family he has built in his new home. Cut 2, HERE AND NOW, has Mandy Gonzales’ gorgeous clear voice, also so filled with emotional joy as she celebrates this moment. She is a person not living in the past and worrying about the future, as so many of us are and do, but she revels in the fact that the present moment is all we really have, so enjoy!! The full band and voices backing her up are fantastic. Her power and range are spot-on and perfectly pitched. She moves from louder belts to softer vocals with ease. The song's beats are samba-like and fun, and each instrument's solo licks are so adept and powerful. The band wails with saxes, trumpets, trombones, and more, all so full without being overbearing. With DREAMER - SPANISH VERSION, the brother of Jaime’s heart, Mauricio Martinez, shows why he is one of the great voices on our stages today, and in Spanish even more so; his clarity of the words is so precise. Bobby doesn't know WHAT he’s saying, but we love the WAY he says it. His vocal range seems unstoppable and this song is positively gorgeous. Robi Hager uses his trumpet-like tenor wonderfully on ATRAS Y ADELANTE, a bit of a haunting memory piece - the longing of a man remembering the boy he was, in the kitchen with his mother, in the home of an absent father who hurt them both. It is moving and filled with anger toward the pain and the past that won’t go away. YOU ARE THE REASON has Mauricio Martinez letting his romance show again, this time in English. This is a beautiful love song where MM’s powerful voice is a cry in the night filled with the ardor of love and the need to heal from a broken heart.

Cut #11, FLORENCIA is clearly named for Lozano’s bride. This love song in Spanish sung by Raul Middón is filled with the Latin beats of Jaime’s heart and his love for his goddess of a wife. This is a dance song as much as it is a love song. One can close one's eyes and see Jaime and Florencia on the dance floor together. Here again, Bobby don’t know what is being said, but it sure is purty. And speaking of Fab Florencia, her handling of NO PODEMOS REGRESAR (we can’t return) is nothing short of transcendent. This is a woman with a voice like silken thunder and, here, she sings the song of an immigrant mother leaving behind her life and taking her child with her. The song is one of hope for the child that a better life awaits them in the future. With a voice like no other, Florencia sings of there being no return, that the future is in another place she and her son must fight to get to.

In all, my lambs, Jaime Lozano’s SONGS FROM AN IMMIGRANT Vol. 2, while leaning a bit to the longish side (90 full minutes), bursts forth with energy and passion and is worth every minute. It’s also a fab party album for those who program the danceable cuts - of which there are several - and with all of that, and a whole lot more, Bobby happily decrees… 

This one gets 5 Out Of 5 Rainbows

If Latin Beats Are Your Thing, You Must Put This One In Your Stream: HERE

You Can See And Hear Everything About Jaime Lozano On His Webbysite: HERE

Album Review: Jaime Lozano Sings & Plays With The Familia On SONGS BY AN IMMIGRANT Vol. 2




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