La Bruja Gata - Baile de libélulas
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La Bruja Gata
Baile de libélulas
Resistencia (www.resistencia.com)

cd cover This second release from La Bruja Gata, a Madrid-based acoustic sextet, is a breezy collection of folk-based light jazz. With a title like "Dragonfly Dance," what else could one expect? While there are a lot of teasing rhythms and dizzying melodic swoops, there is nothing here that will grate against the ear. The arrangements are meticulous and the playing mellifluous. In an age of brash dissonance, this is comfort music. While firmly rooted in Spanish idioms, eastern European, Scandinavian, and Celtic elements seep in. This is one of the most democratic bands you'll find anywhere.
Listen!
Everyone gets a chance to solo on nearly every track. "Playa Garabatos," a smooth waltz, highlights José Ramón Jiménez' creamy clarinet and Javier Palancar's velvety accordion. "Nana inquieta," one of the few tracks with vocals, slues back and forth between a soothing lullaby and a dark cabaret sound, suggesting a child fighting sleep. "El gran sol" is an episodic four-part suite with sections evoking pastoral scenes, bullfights, and flamenco dancing. "Vendavales de poemas" is a gentle jazz ballad. The closing track, "Música para ulular (Music for howling)" is a tender tone poem featuring Roberto Ruiz' cello, and Jiménez' whistle. It's lovely, but tiptoes a little too closely to New Age. And that brings us to the only real problem with Baile de libélulas. It's almost too pretty. Just a little more bite is needed to keep this from being relegated to the role of background music. Still, it's all very sweet and well-played. - Peggy Latkovich

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