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Recording of the Week, Cande y Paulo


‘Cande y Paulo’ is the moniker of Argentinian musicians Cande Buasso and Paulo Carrizo; the vocalist/bassist and piano/keyboardist respectively play an intimately minimal style of vocal jazz. Meeting at a young age in the city of San Juan (not to be confused with the capital of Puerto Rico), the two began performing in the city’s vibrant music scene. While Buasso’s musical background covers both jazz and opera, Carrizo’s nature as a multi-instrumentalist has had him performing in a variety of sideman gigs, as well as leading his flamenco-jazz group The Paulo Carrizo Trio. The pair achieved online popularity after a video of them covering ‘Barro tal vez’ by Argentinian musician Luis Alberto Spinetta went viral in 2017; it was this popularity that landed the duo a record deal with Decca, which included a re-recording of ‘Barro tal vez’ which released as their debut single. The duo can also be found on NPR Music’s ‘Tiny Desk’ series - with the NPR Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras commenting that seeing the duo was “love at first sight” - their set taking place at their own studio rather than tucked between the desks of the NPR offices, the very same where they recorded their original ‘Barro tal vez’ cover. The duo spent 2019 recording their studio debut with the assistance of producer Larry Klein, known for his work with Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock, and the recording also features a small ensemble of contributing musicians including Diana Krall-collaborator and guitarist Anthony Wilson.


Cande y Paulo opens with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Treaty’, from his 2016 album You Want It Darker, released shortly before the singer-songwriter’s death. Originally released as a single in tribute to Cohen, it’s just as sombre as the original version albeit with Cohen’s husky tones replaced with Cande’s gentle voice. The duo’s Spanish-language cover of Feist’s ‘Limit to Your Love’ - which appears here as ‘Límite en tu amor’ - is a great choice of material, making excellent use of the pair’s intimate dynamic as well as some subtly atmospheric additions to the arrangement. It reminds me more so of the version recorded by electronic singer-songwriter James Blake, and bears some similarities in the way it uses a subtle rumbling electronic bass. The repertoire throughout the record nicely balances more traditional jazz standards like George & Ira Gerswhin’s ‘Summertime’ or ‘I Fall In Love Too Easily’ with some popular music additions like Rodrigo Amarante’s ‘Tuyo’ - which served as the opening to Netflix series Narcos, originally sung in Spanish - and Neil Young’s ‘Sugar Mountain’, the Canadian folk rocker’s lament to lost youth.

Outside of the duo’s bass, piano and vocals, there are plentiful additions to the arrangements sprinkled throughout, the most notable being Anthony Wilson’s guitar providing some tasteful chord-work and the odd solo. The occasional extra instrumentation is always a welcome addition to the tracks, avoiding sounding gimmicky and never trying to out-do the pair. While the album for the most part keeps it easy-listening, it’s not without its lively moments; the ending of ‘Preguntan de donde soy’ has Buasso singing along with the top notes of Carrizo’s piano, really reaching into her upper register for the penultimate track on the record. There’s something neatly understated about Cande y Paulo’s performances, a certain self-assured authenticity that manages to stay far away from what could’ve been an extremely saccharine affair; their minimalist approach to the material only benefits the record. Given the pair’s history as a ‘Youtube viral sensation’, it maybe hard not to approach Cande y Paulo with a certain degree of cynicism, but Buasso and Carrizo’s genuine attitude to the music dashed any scepticism I had.

Cande y Paulo

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Cande y Paulo

Available Format: Vinyl Record