by Ferell Aubre
Camila Meza (Bernstein) was born in Chili. Her musical leanings are inspired by jazz guitarists like George Benson and Pat Metheny, but also her roots of influence are grounded in South American music and folk. Her studies began with Jorge Vidal and Jorge Díaz in her native country. Her first recording with Giovanni Cultrera, Espinoza y Cia (Navidad en Jazz) was released in 2005. It was in 2007, Meza released her debut album Skylark. A move to New York in 2009 to study guitar at The New School with Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris and Steve Cardenas was only the beginning. Her discography includes Retrato (2009); Prisma (2013); Traces (2016); and her latest Ámbar, which features her own jazz octet, The Nectar Orchestra.
Singer and guitarist Meza paints beautiful pastels with her musical sounds on “All Your Colors.” The lyrics present a love song that contemplates the nature of perception. With the rich and supportive sounds of percussion and strings (playing both arco and pizzicato) from the Nectar Orchestra. Bassist and arranger Noam Wiesenberg, who co-leads the Nectar Orchestra with Meza, supports the warm and sensual sounds of Meza’s voice as she sings the gorgeous melody. The timbre of Meza’s voice is a perfect match for the strings, both are agile and exotic. Meza’s composing style is dramatic and showcases her wide vocal range, that illuminates powerfully and with many hues. Her style is filled with emotion with a powerful emotive that should appeal to a wide audience.
“Kallfu” begins with an energetic figure in the strings as Meza’s voice soars above them, switching from medium register to high sustain falsetto with ease. The Spanish lyrics are entertaining as the song form presents multiple feels and settings. Meza’s guitar solo is accomplished, as she sings along, her lines have energy and fluidity. The composition is meaningful, pulling in elements of world music, jazz and third stream classical.
Meza’s vocal style is suited to the exotic music she composes. With its folk singer quality, effervesced with jazz harmony, the result is a luxurious listen deepened by the support of The Nectar Orchestra. Each piece is a spectral journey of textural colors and richness sweetened by is nectar of infusion.