Friday, December 31, 2010

Flamenco-Fused Rumba From Sabor de Gracia

Spain's Sabor de Gracia has a bunch of albums out, but their newest Sabor pa Rato (World Village 498037) is my first exposure to them. La Rumba Catalana is what they do, and they really do it well! It combines the rhythms and general horn-percussion-vocal style of rumba from the Latin tradition and adds local elements--from Gypsy-flamenco strains. The music that results is a captivating blend. There are minor-key melodies to be savored (flamenco-like to greater or lesser degree at any point), a preponderance of flamenco acoustic guitars adding their dynamic strums much of the time, and a melodic-rhythmic distinctiveness that comes out in some pretty highly developed songs. There's a little funk in there too and some samba touches as well.

The band has an infectiously joyous drive. The flamenco guitars, an occasional electric solo that comes out of something Carlos Santana would admire, horn and string lines that give you much to appreciate, very considerable vocal charm from the solo singers and chorus (with rather thrilling moments of flamenco cantilation), a good percussion section. . . this is music that satisfies on many levels.

And the band is tight! I feel the joy. Definitely recommended!

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