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Dance With Me

I remember the first time I met Carol. It was long before the days of The Wave and I was attending an event (all about chocolate!), representing another radio station. Carol was the featured entertainer. I was blown away by her and her very first note. I could feel her passion. I could sense her spirit. I could hear her warmth and I could taste her truth. She was the absolute perfect embodiment of sophisticated, sensual, sassy, smooth jazz.

All these years later she still is. Only better.

Six-time Juno Award nominee Carol Welsman says, "I’ve performed all over the world and fans always come up to me afterwards to say how much they specifically enjoyed the Latin songs I’ve played. That’s always stayed with me.”

I'm glad. Because on Dance With Me (her thirteenth album to date), Carol explores her inner Latina with the conviction of a true aficionado. She has surrounded herself with an impressive posse of superstars: director and arranger Oscar Hernández, saxophonist and flutist Justo Almario, bassist René Camacho, drummer Jimmy Branly and percussionist Joey de Leon. Together this glorious group pulls out all the stops to create a muy caliente collection of classics.

The title track and lead-off single, her playful English/Spanish duet with Dominican Republic born, multiple Grammy-winning vocalist Juan Luis Guerra, is a blithe adaptation of his hit "Si Tú No Bailas Conmigo" (If You Don’t Dance With Me). A succulent pairing as tasty as wine and cheese.

"A Taste of Paradise" is one of the few new treats penned by none other than legendary Canadian rocker Randy Bachman. (Another reminder that behind every talented songwriter - no matter what genre - there always lurks a touch of jazz.) Much of the album revisits the Great American Songbook along with classics from the Cuban repertoire (translated into English by Welsman and lyricist Jo Perry.) “Yesterday” (originally “Como Fue”) is sultry and smoky. “I Think of You” (“Y Hoy Como Ayer”) is another beautiful ballad showcasing Carol's intimate, velvety vocals. I particularly like "I Won't Dance", which is so much fun you'll want to.

And then there is "Yesterday I Heard The Rain."  Oh how I love when Carol embraces a song like this. So breathy, so honest and so sweetly stirring. And when she switches (effortlessly I might add) into Spanish, this record is truly complete. Carol has such an innate gift for languages, I just wish she had shared a few more original lyrics with us.

Dance With Me is simply the most perfectly warm and cozy yet spirited and sparkling selection of joyas musicales cubanas ... just right for transitioning into chillier autumn days. Treat yourself ... dance with Carol.

Vickie van Dyke

Morning Host

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