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3.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Apr 9 2002
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Product details

  • Audio CD (April 9 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000063NCZ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Product Description

"Nuevo" is something of a near-hallucinatory journey in sound. A bawdy song from Mazatlan, a romantic standard of the 60's, "space-age bachelor pad music" of Esquivel, foot-stomping party music, a percussion-laden concert work, a prime-time Mexican TV theme, a mariachi tune, and an extraordinary five-part sonic portrait of contemporary Mexico by Cafe Tacuba are only some of the ingredients in a kaleidoscopic, mesmerizing melange of music spanning some 100 years. Beginning with their breakthrough project "Pieces of Africa" in 1991, some of the most compelling recordings in the Kronos discography have resulted from their collaborative explorations of musical programs drawn from a particular country or region of the world. With "Nuevo" - a project based entirely around Mexican composers, musical traditions, and influences - they have delivered one of their most striking group odysseys to date. Produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, both an authority of Latin American art music as well as the most in-demand producer of rock en espanol, the album also features a host of great artists from both the concert hall as well as the streets of Mexico.

To say that the Kronos Quartet’s Nuevo is the ensemble’s most adventurous outing to date is hardly an understatement. This diverse collection of Mexican compositions and traditional tunes brims with an unpredictable energy and a dazzling array of Latin American guest performers, and, yes, Kronos keeps up throughout.

A cocktail pop tune from Esquivel is covered; there’s a chamber arrangement of Revueltas’ sprawling orchestral work Sensemaya, and Nortec Collective member Plankton Man remixes Kronos’s interpretation of "El Sinaloense" into a sizzling dance music track which closes the disc. The playing is spirited, to say the least (check out "El Llorar", with guest vocalists Alejandro Flores and Efren Vargas).

But this is foremost a party record. A bevy of reverb effects and instrumentation (including a squeaky musical leaf solo on "Perfidia") ensures that things stay unpredictable.Production work by Rock en Espanol producer Gustavo Santaolalla infuses this disc with an edgy modernism. The bulk of these compositions have been arranged by composer Osvaldo Golijov, who seemingly brings a manic energy and playfulness to everything he touches. Chamber music purists may scoff, but the rest of us will be busy dancing and thrilling to this exciting, genre-blurring Kronos project.--Jason Verlinde

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