Los Ninos de Sara - Acoustic guitar - world music - "EER-MUSIC.com aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Los Ninos de Sara: Gipsyole
2002, Intentcity, ICCD 80007
CyberHome: http://www.intentcity.com

Gipsyole, the debut release from the Los Ninos de Sara quartet of Alabino, is a spirited, absorbing exposition of Spanish-flavored music that establishes the ensemble as a legitimate contender in the world music arena. A quick perusal of the exterior of the CD sleave illustrating the quartet with acoustic guitarist is somewhat misleading because this album is far richer in musical texture than what is displayed on the sleave. The musical ensemble that accompanies the Los Ninos de Sara quartet greatly enhances the musical experience with a depth of musical texture that is far beyond what the first impression of the CD cover conveys. And, this well-constructed, richly textured musical accompaniment that provides a fertile context for the quartet, is supported with superb production that escalates the worthiness and enjoyability of the entire effort to a notable caliber. A more careful discernment of the CD liner note reveals the true nature of this effort that involves many diverse instruments with first rate production.

The pleasant surprise that is presented by the richly textured context that is provided for the quartet to perform is furthered by the quality of the compositional content and guitar work that is performed within this orchestral context that features exquisitely phrased and voiced horn and piano accompaniment. Unlike some other performers of similar style that fall into the pitfall of loose playing that lacks precision, the Los Ninos de Sara players demonstrate an excellent musical proficiency with their attention to precision in articulation and timing, texturing of tones, and integration of instrumentation to produce a complete and cohesive sound. This clearly is not a band of wandering gypsies without musical training, but is instead a band of well-trained musicians that have a clear understanding of the complex music they are executing with tight, calculated precision. And, the supporting ensemble has been assembled with talented professionals worthy of the world music they engage.

All of these things aside, the forte of Gipsyole is without a doubt the excellent composition and the well-felt playing that articulates it. The compositions on Gipsyole strike a very enjoyable balance between complex harmonies, disarming melody lines, carefully crafted chordal arrangements, rhythmic tempos, deep feeling, and conducive listener accessibility. The depth of the the compositional craftwork is sufficient to keep the attention of a musically educated audience but is also accessible enough to draw the interest of a much wider general audience. The musical style draws from a number of world music styles that are primarily oriented around the gypsy, flamenco, Spanish and Latin sounds and rhythms with a hint of Cuban and salsa stylisms in the instrumentation. But, the continuous weaving of tasty harmonies and appealing melody lines that are voiced by different instruments brings a surprising degree of sophistication that is beyond this simplistic summary of the style encompassed. The refined instrumentation is constrasted by the somewhat dramatic vocals that have a tendency towards emotional expressionism, as may be expected from gypsy-style music. The end result of all of these factors is a unique and compelling musical vision that draws the listener into the depth of this world music experience.

The album covers a wide range of appealing emotions, but is mainly upbeat and lively. However, this positive force that drives the music is greatly complemented by the CD's standout track, "Me Encuentro En Tu Desierte", that is destined to become a classic for summertime radio play. This track has a bittersweet, haunting theme that is set to a Carribean-flavored progression that is like forlorn sorrow floating on an ocean breeze that comforts it. The contrast that "Me Encuentro En Tu Desierte" bears to the remainder of the album is a stark contrast and because it comes toward the end of the CD, it comes somewhat as a surprise because it demonstrates an emotional depth of a type that was not revealed in earlier tracks. But, the music is spirited throughout and full of projection of a variety of emotions.

The depth of composition, crafty execution, and fantastic production exceeded any expectations I may have had for Gipsyole. Connoisseurs of world music with a penchant for Spanish and Latin flavoring will be delighted to indulge in this harmonious celebration of gypsy music. But the audience of Gipsyole is undoubtedly not limited to connoisseurs because this music may also bring listening pleasure to fans of more commercial, vocal-based Latin music with the added bonus of more satisfying musical accompaniment en gratis with more long-lasting staying power than the average commercial effort. This music should be widely accessibility to and enjoyed by a general audience, and fans of the musical style of bands like Acoustic Alchemy will likely enjoy this CD. A superb debut release from the group that sets a high water mark that will challenge them to exceed this performance on ensuing efforts.

Los Ninos de Sara: Guitars, Vocals Antonio, Ramon, Coco, Santi
Guitars, Synthesizers, Bass,Vocals Michael Sembello
Percussion Rachedi Klifa
Saxophones Mimram Pierre, Alain Hatot
Guitars Daniel Gonzales Manzanas, Manuel Delgado
Synthesizers Ronny Gold
Bass Mekkaoui Naceur
Trombone Jacques Bolognesi
Trumpet Phillipe Slominiski
Timpales Michael Abihssira
Cuivres Kako, Alex & Eric
Violin & Mandolin Maurice Sellem
1) El Nino Del Viento
2) La Cubanila
3) Santa Maria
4) Romance Anonimo
5) Cae La Nieve
6) Mizai Mizai
7) Vagabundo
8) Vivire Para Ti
9) Somos Gitanos
10) Una Muchacha
11) Me Encuentro En Tu Desierto
12) Mi... Angel

~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight





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