Antonio Valdes Y Su Marana - "De Ojos Como Zarzas"
(Greatwinds/Musea 2002, GW 3108.AR)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
This is not normally what I would review but I was pleasantly surprised. Although the biography puts this into the progressive rock category, it is a mixture of Spanish flamenco-gypsy music but with some great jazz style material. The opening track starts out as pure gypsy-flamenco music but then the clarinet solo comes in and the bass playing changes to a very jazzy style and then they take it back to the beginning again. While the CD maintains a distinct Spanish style, some tracks like "Complete Mandingue" are pure jazz. "Aquelarre" has some great acoustic guitar like Al DiMeola might play. I would have to say the Antonio has successfully created the first flamenco jazz CD that I have ever experienced.
For more information you can visit the Musea Records web site at: http://www.musearecords.com.
Reviewed by Scott Heller