Kuh’s world-class kundimans

World Music (also known as World Beat) is any of various styles of popular music combining traditional, indigenous forms with elements of another culture’s music, especially rock and pop. This is exactly what Kuh Ledesma creates in the K CD released by Bravo Records. In collaboration with Bob Aves, she reinvented the kundimans by coming up with interpretations even purists will love. She gave a contemporarized and global sensibility to Pinoy classics and standards, which qualify them as world-class songs. Multi-culturalism was started by the Beatles.

The songs Kuh and Bob treated as World Music are Nicanor Abelardo’s “Mutya ng Pasig,” F. Santiago’s “Pakiusap,” Resty Umali and Levy Celerio’s “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” Nicanor Abelardo’s “Nasaan Ka Irog,” George Canseco’s “Siya Na Ba?,” Lucio San Pedro and Levy Celerio’s “Ugoy sa Duyan,” Constancio de Guzman and J.C. de Jesus’s “Bayan Ko,” M. Velarde and J.C. De Jesus’s “Dahil Sa ‘Yo,” G. Becaud, George Canseco and L. Amande’s “Bulaklak” and J. Cenizal’s “Lahat ng Araw (Silayan)” It’s a free-for-all as far as jazzed up arrangement and ethic-driven instrumentation, with Kuh remaining faithful to the lyrics.

Kuh’s inspired singing and the Wall of Sound give this collection of songs a compelling sound and stirring ambiance. I think the most realized song in the album in World Music intention is “Bulaklak.” Kuh translates parts of the Filipino lyrics in English and French, making it comprehensible to speakers of the world’s most popular languages. This does not mean the other tracks suffer in quality values. They also have the power to stir up distant lands and inner trips. This CD is Kuh’s most inspired output in a different step, a sure step, for sure, towards National Artisthood.

Watch out for Kuh’s next CD release, a collection of gospel songs.