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Miramar: Dedication To Sylvia Rexach

Read "Dedication To Sylvia Rexach" reviewed by James Nadal

The modern Latin-American bolero (romantic ballad) of Spanish heritage, originated from the Cuban trova. Mexico influenced the genre with numerous prolific trios recording boleros, gaining an international audience. Its popularity spread with the development of cinema and phonograph records, reaching a zenith between the 1930's and 1960's. Puerto Rico was not immune to this musical phenomenon, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chico Trujillo: Reina de Todas Las Fiestas

Read "Reina de Todas Las Fiestas" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

As the late 1990s transitioned into the early 2000s, in the small Chilean town called Villa Aleman, singer Aldo “Macha" Asenjo and other members of the local punk-ska group LaFloripondio would gather around and jam for fun on old classics from the Chilean and Columbian cumbia traditions. After fifteen years, six albums, and a few world ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Banda de los Muertos: Banda de los Muertos

Read "Banda de los Muertos" reviewed by Matt Marshall

It is common practice among groups that play Sinaloan banda music--a style that emerged from small village brass bands in Northwestern Mexico after the Revolution, typically featuring a few clarinets, trumpets, trombones and saxhorns, plus a tuba, snare drum and tambora--to link their name to their place of origin. Thus we get Banda El Recodo and ...

Sanda Weigl: Gypsy in a Tree

Read "Gypsy in a Tree" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Anyone who has lived the myriad lives of the Diaspora as Sanda Weigl has, is qualified to speak for the generations of pain and joy, torture and triumph of human life that has come to pass for her people, and the Gypsies as well. Fleeing the repressive regime of Romania and falling afoul of the even ...

Various Artists: The Roots of Chicha Volume 2: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru

Read "The Roots of Chicha Volume 2: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The modern tradition of cumbia music in Peru goes back to the 1960s. But in the 1970s, cumbia began to be known as “chicha," the name for an alcoholic drink of which the Incas were famously fond, and cumbia and chicha both somehow became associated with the poor and downtrodden living in Peruvian slums--ghetto music.

Sanda: Gypsy in a Tree

Read "Gypsy in a Tree" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Try as they might, the world's greatest instrument makers have yet to create anything that comes close to the beauty, joy or emotional intensity of the human voice. If this sounds like a somewhat contentious statement, then Gypsy In A Tree--a follow-up to Gypsy Killer (Knitting Factory Works, 2002)--should provide sufficient evidence, in the form of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sanda Weigl: Gypsy in a Tree

Read "Gypsy in a Tree" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Romanian singer Sanda Weigl's story is a harrowing one that spans the full length of the Cold War, from pre-Ceausescu Romania to communist East Berlin to West Berlin before arriving most recently in New York City, at a time when many Gotham musicians were investigating Eastern European influences in Western music, making her expertise in Gypsy ...

Slavic Soul Party: Taketron

Read "Taketron" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

The massive Baltic brass band Slavic Soul Party (SSP) has played in Istanbul and Carnegie Hall, Macedonia and the Kennedy Center, Serbia and the Knitting Factory, and currently resides Tuesday nights at Club Barbes in Brooklyn, which released this fifth SSP album on its own label. “I think Taketron really shows our original style, more so ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Slavic Soul Party!: Bigger

Read "Bigger" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

The music of the Roma--some of whom accept the “gypsy moniker and some of whom reject it--is often joyful, necessarily so. Like the American blues, gypsy music isn't about complaining so much as surviving despite. For even the biggest Balkan stars, the money gigs are weddings, which involve a week of ceremony and parties. A successful ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Rare Bird Rumba Ranch: Pornos For Peace Keepers

Read "Pornos For Peace Keepers" reviewed by AAJ Staff

On its first album, Bull Feathers (Jerk Shack Records, 2004), The Rare Bird Rumba Ranch unveiled its combination of Tex-Mex, bubbling Latin rhythms, knotty jazz saxophone, and oddball, even silly lyrics. On Pornos For Peace Keepers , these Rare Birds solidify and refine their approach, only this time their lyrics are edgier and more political.