New Reviews: May 9, 2001

Once Cuentos De Amor
Maria Marquez
Palm Pictures

Maria Marquez is an outstanding international singer from Venezuela. On Once Cuentos De Amor, She performs passion-filled love ballads in the bolero form. The bolero instrumentation is very smooth and subtle. The tracks contain soft textures created by the piano, flamenco guitar, vibes, clarinet, rattles, shakers, didgeridoo and accordion. Maria's mature vocal style compliments the assorted instruments. Once Cuentos De Amor will definitely bring pleasure to fans of smooth bolero/latin music.

Puro Blazers
The Blazers

The Blazers are a Latin roots music group from East Los Angeles. They combine their Mexican heritage with American rock influences. Puro Blazers is their first all-Spanish language album that combines traditional and contemporary instruments and styles. Bass, drums, electric guitars, accordions, timbales, trumpets and various percussion instruments beautifully augment The Blazers deep Mexican-American history and culture. Overall, the songs are very upbeat and melodic. Also, the liner notes include the Spanish lyrics to all of the songs. Puro Blazers is a real treat for fans of Tejano and Latin Rock/Polka music.

El Hechizo De Babilonia
Luis Delgado
Nubenegra Records

Luis Delgado's fascination with 11th and 12th century feminie poetry led him to produce an album of Spanish traditional music that was typical under the Moorish stronghold. Beautiful female and male vocals reflect the passionate and provocative Moorish messages in musical poem form. The instrumentation is also an important part of this recording. Spanish, gypsy, Indian, European and oriental musical elements are fused to form an addictive musical stew. Contemporary and traditional instruments are used including, the kazal, flute, dumbek, tabla, oud, tar, saz, tamboura, keyboard and other assorted percussion instruments. Moreover, Luis used authentic instruments from his Instrument Museum in Valladolid, Spain. The famed percussion maestro, Hossam Ramzy, makes a guest appearance on this truly wonderful recording. The occasionally intense, but intriguing vocals, beautiful instrumentation, and detailed liner notes, make El Hechizo De Babilonia a valuable jewel of historical Moorish music.

Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.