Andrea Motis | Colors & Shadows Review
by Icrom Bigrad
Andrea Motis is a vocalist and trumpet player that hails from Spain, and though she is still in her mid-20s, Motis is already a jazz superstar in Spain and far beyond. In 2011, Quincy Jones became enthusiastic about the young lady on trumpet and vocals. Motis was also mentored by bassist, tenor saxophonist, and celebrated pedagogue Joan Chamorro, the head of the Catalan talent factory. In the spring of 2021, Motis joined the WDR Big Band Cologne under the direction of the experienced big band leader Mike Mossman to record her Jazzline records album Colors & Shadows. Mossman arranged all the songs for a delightful collection of fabulous, atmospheric, Latin-oriented setlist. Motis shows herself as an accomplished singer and trumpeter as the remarkable WDR Big Band Cologne virtuosity supports her wonderfully in both roles.
“Señor Blues” is an outstanding arrangement by Mossman. The orchestration, textures, and playing deliver a magical listening experience and atmosphere for Motis’ warm vocals and trumpet playing. Motis sings the melody with precise Latin jazz rhythms and diction as the big band supports her with creative writing and confident playing. Motis has a sweet vocal sound, playful but not childish, and certainly far more mature than her age. Her trumpet playing speaks from the Latin jazz tradition and fits well with the other solos from the big band.
“Save The Orangutan” features Motis on trumpet and is a highlight instrumental selection on the album. The WDR Big Band Cologne buzzes with excitement and control through the intricate shifts in moods, counterpoints, and tutti sections. Motis’ solo is melodic and playfully rhythmically as she easily navigates the range of the horn. In addition, a beautiful saxophone soli is featured as well as an energetic shout chorus.
Andrea Motis is a double threat as a vocalist and trumpeter, combining those talents to bring us a delightful album of musical depth with a multi-cultural appeal. The singing, playing, and arrangement writing is outstanding, do miss out on Colors & Shadows, just go get it!