No mysteries in the packaging here. It promises you mariachi, and the photographs show you stout men in white sombreros holding trumpets and guitars. The blurb tells you that the group has been showing its “loyalty to the century old traditions of the music and culture of Mexico” since 1978. And that’s what you hear: traditional mariachi being upheld with absolute fidelity. The musicians are romantics, whirling their voices mournfully into lush mounds of cream then tapping the mound on top with a cherry—jets of trumpet, or a twist of violin—the music twitching between serenade and snap-out-of-it, waltz and festival. “La Malagueña” is an opportunity to try out a little bit of everything: tragic low singing, high “Eee-eee"s, whisking violins, grand trumpet. Some of the songs are familiar, others have been rescued from the memories of old performers. A solid album.
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// Notes from the Road
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