Versatile vocalist Lauren Henderson expands her sound on her new album La Bruja. Merging mystical themes with familiar melodies, La Bruja is an embrace of Black American Music, highlighting the Afro-Latino experience and the resilience of women through a spellbinding, 11-track collection of deftly-composed originals and carefully curated Latin jazz standards.
La Bruja takes its name from the Spanish word for ‘the witch.’ On her ninth release as a leader, Henderson gracefully sets out to reclaim an obsolete term historically with a negative connotation. As the United States reaches an apex of contention regarding women’s rights, Henderson’s empowering venture is a chilling reprisal against the governing of women’s bodies, while remaining a triumphant display of Henderson’s signature nuance and silken vocal palette. While studying and living in Mexico, Henderson was introduced to a variety of musical motifs that would become essential to her artistic growth and identity. “Mexican lingo remains a pillar of my artistic development,” she said.
Laure is joined by frequent collaborators Joel Ross on vibraphone, Nick Tannura and Gabe Shnider on guitar, Sean Mason and John Chin on piano, Eric Wheeler on bass and Joe Dyson on drums. La Bruja features several vigorous renditions of Latin Jazz standards, including “Veinte Años,” “Silencio,” and the vulnerable album-opener “Perfidia,” a lyrical message speaking to the light and darkness of an unrequited love.