- Audio CD (April 9 2002)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Nonesuch
- ASIN: B000063NCZ
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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"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 Quartets Nuevo is the ensembles 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; theres a chamber arrangement of Revueltas sprawling orchestral work Sensemaya, and Nortec Collective member Plankton Man remixes Kronoss 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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But, there is "another" Kronos, which appears lighter and more humorous. Looks are deceiving, of course. Such is the music found in Nuevo.
It is difficult to explain the joyous whirlwind this music creates. I wanted, at times, to dance as well as listen closely to all this music has to offer. Taste a sample and you will know what I mean. I am sure you will want more..."bet you can't listen to just five notes!"
and do these cats tell it like it is.
Once again concert talent can be honed and refined, and then the spirit takes over, as in "El Sinaloenese" which could be placed on "Austin City Limits" anytime.
God, is it good to hear talented musicians truly enjoying each other, and the "new" Kronos has both the talent and the enjoyment which they share with each other, and with us.
The sound is superb, especially on a component stereo system. Crank up a flat response and enjoy what Yahweh and Kronos have put together. The superiority of a master mixed CD over the best shellac shows here.
Oh yes, those, like me, who enjoy the Kronos handling of tonality and dissonance of Adams & Riley, will not be disappointed with this recording. And those who wish to experience a string band and a fiddle exposition worth of Bastrop will be doing a "Two Step" or "Line" to their exuberant phrasings.
Now if only they could do a pairing with "The Chieftans"?? That would be Nirvana indeed.
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Well, first I must say that it is very rewarding to find such a talented international ensemble to interpret our music.Read more