13 November 2008

mi nombre Yma Sumac or Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri del Castillo, a usted.

I read a few nights ago that Yma Sumac died November 1, 2008 at the age of 86.

I love her sense of drama! Her voice! Her mystery! Ah! And that nose! An utterly unique Yma Sumac.

She had a 5 octave range at the height of her career, watching her sing it was hard to figure out how the hell those sounds came out of her.

One of her most famous albums was Voice of the Xtabay (can you say: shta-bye?).
But you gotta love a gal who, in the early ’70s, after a long hiatus (and about 20 years since recording a full album) came out with an LP of “rock” with Chuck (rockabilly hall of famer) Cowan’s guitar, the bass of his brother Roger, and Skip Switzer on drums.

I read somewhere that she sounded like a cross between Big Mama Thornton (the deep growls) and Kate Bush (the high wails). But I beg to differ. She was an original. (Then again, so are Willie Mae and Kate!)


Damon Devine said...

The Yma SUmac photo above is copyrighted to www.yma-sumac.com. It will have to be replaced with a public domain image.

CrimsonCrow said...

Dear Damon, thanks for letting me know. And thank you for your generously sending me two gorgeous photos of Ms. Sumac that I may freely use!