I'm writing this in response to Nancy Moran's highly uninformed and inappropriate negative review of this CD. It is clear from her thoughts on the CD that she bought this disc with false expectations. Her misunderstanding, I think, stems from her confusion as to the CD's title - "Black Madonna" is not, as she seems to suppose, referring to the artist of the disc, but is a referance to the famous black madonna of Montserrat, worshipped by thousands of Spanish pilgrims in the early through mid centuries of the second millennium (and still worshipped today). This disc is by NO means an exploration of African-American culture, with which it has, obviously, no connection, and I think it was this confusion that lead to Ms. Moran's disappointment and general antipathy toward the disc. The CD is, of course, an exciting and near-perfect collection of Spanish mediaeval music, performed exquisitely by the always on target Ensemble Unicorn (one of the Naxos label's happiest discoveries). Anyone buying this CD thinking it's going to sound like jazz greats Nancy Wilson or Dinah Washington are bound to be disappointed.
But one thing puzzles me -- even after buying and listening to this CD, Ms. Moran seems to STILL have no idea what it's all about. Didn't she bother to read the CD booklet? Her review indicates that she is even still under the assumption that there is only ONE artist here (The "Black Madonna") and not a group or ensemble. I would suggest that she put her pre-conceptions aside, read the liner notes and try this disc again, it just might grow on her.