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“If the level of talent and creativity on these four releases is any indication, it’s going to be a great year for discovering new vocal talent from south of the border. Among this quartet of singers (Rosa Passos, Gabriela Anders, Maria Márquez and Ana Caram), Venezuela’s Maria Márquez gets the nod on Nature’s Princess (Adventure Music) for a genuinely fresh approach to her program of self-penned works and infrequently heard regional fare from Mexico and Puerto Rico. Long known as one of Venezuela’s top jazz vocalists, Márquez here explores tunes that radiate folkloric qualities while being rendered with elegant chamber jazz flourishes. 

But just when the listener settles into a comfort zone, she comes along with an incredibly hip update of “Besame Mucho”, the bolero classic rendered with a walking bass, combo organ, electric guitar and- believe it or not- sousaphone. The wide-ranging orchestrations feature strings, woodwind instruments, brass, and a generous mix of percussion and mallet instruments. 

If Márquez’s voice were a tropical beverage, it would be rum of a dense amber tone, with hints of chocolate and tobacco on the palate, taken straight up.”

— Mark Holston- Jazziz – January 2005