They’re good, but they don’t have the effortless control over the music that would let them kick it around and coax it into a human/instrument partnership. They can play it, but they can’t play with it. The voices in “Congo Le Lé” are too aware that they want to be singing in time—they hesitate, they reach out a fringe of hesitant feelers and the harmonising isn’t second nature yet. The voice in “La Tristeza” wants to ache purely, but it’s worrying about the right note. The strum in “Congo Libre” wishes it was sharper. “Son jarocho,” the blurb explains, “is the traditional dance and music from southern Veracruz, Mexico. The genre has its roots in Spanish music and a mixture of Afro-Caribbean and Mexican sounds”. The group lives in New York.
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// Notes from the Road
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