In the Sardinian region of Alghero the inhabitants speak Catalan, a language that is an expression of a highly peculiar culture though one which is fully part of the Mediterranean area. Singer FRANCA MASU is a child of this special artistic microclimate, this air redolent of sea and earth, the tang of salt and heady perfumes, ancient traditions and lively sallies towards the future. Alghero has always been the part of Sardinia most turned towards the exterior world, seeking contact and exchanges with the Spanish and Portuguese coast that form the Mediterranean’s westernmost edge. The voice of FRANCA MASU is a perfect synthesis of artistic moods and sensations from neighbouring cultures that over the centuries have become mixed and inveterately convolved. Trained as a jazz singer FRANCA MASU first became interested in Catalan culture in the late 1990s, drawn by a natural impulse to rediscover evocative sonorities of great emotive power. Her deep, darkly coloured yet at the same time highly nuanced voice adapted itself perfectly to a musical world that was awaiting her arrival. Her debut album, 2001’s El meu viatge was warmly received also in Spain as was Alguímia (2004), a CD of great maturity and originality which brought her music to a wider audience with its stylish, highly individual echoes of tango and fado and its overall Spanish feel. FRANCA MASU’s new album Aquamare does much more than simply confirm her undoubted talent, offering the listener a selection of passionate interpretations of an international flavour that also shed light on possible future directions for the career of this rising Alghero vocalist. Accompanying her this time out are Mauro Palmas (mandolincello), Salvatore Maltana (double bass), Marcello Peghin (guitar), Fausto Beccalossi (accordion), Gavino Murgia (soprano sax), Andrea Ruggeri (drums), Marco Malatesta (percussion), Andreu Ubach (percussion) and the Karel string quartet, among others. An exceptional band that shows MASU’s talents to the full. Much of the CD is in fact conceived and composed by MASU herself with various band members helping out with the writing and arrangements, while the three tracks not penned by MASU include a Catalan version of Bacalov and Endrigo’s famous “Canzone per te”.