Minino Garay y los Tambores del Sur
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Minino Garay y los Tambores del Sur
Sunnyside (

cd cover This Argentinian production features a large ensemble stressing Bahian-style carnaval percussion and a wide variety of South American instruments and styles. Garay's own vocals are spoken, even growled, but other vocalists contribute other approaches, and many tracks feature spirited male chorus. The thematic cool of most of the tracks operates in fine tension with the thunderous drive of the drums, resulting in a unique and pleasant texture.

On the opening track, "Caribe," shuffling rock guitar leads into playful call-response, complete with YEE-HAH!, slightly beat-trailing Bahian drums behind a pop melody accompanied by plinking violins and an ominous growled chorus, a lively soup of styles and influences. Dense percussion and thunderous Bahian drums dominate the smooth jazzy melody on flute and violin of "Onomatopée," repetitive vocal chorus dancing with Garay's low, growling remarks which emerge into an insistent chant as trumpet and trombone add height and depth. The carefree "La Celosa de tu Vieja" is a happy, upbeat shuffle, melody introduced by Andean pipes, Garay's trademark growled vocal alternating on the melody with a bright male chorus, irresistible dancing music.

The recording also contains three pairs of tightly intertwined tracks, each pair ingeniously mastered to work well either sequentially or separately. "Sombras" begins with a literally somber drum and shaker intro, moodiness increased by bluesy slide guitar, speed-strummed charango, flutes, and guitarist Pájaro Canzáni's distraught vocal, flowing directly into "Chacarera del Violin," whose accelerated beat is accentuated by eccentric hand-claps, a continual buildup of intensity and drive surrounding a violin solo. The friendly, jazzy saxophone of "Elisa" mounts pounding drums, waxing more wildly improvisational as piano enters, sliding right into "20 Años de Passión," rolling beat punctuated by cymbal clashes, staccato chorus incanting the title repetitively, sax, piano, and drum jazz getting progressively wilder until a calm new sax line signals the end. On "Mitos," a wailing violin and chiming guitar support Canzáni's emotive tenor vocal, beat progressing from a rolling march into a stilted waltz while the vocal line gets wilder, finally surrendering to a swirling violin dance in "Gato de Cosquín."

Minino Garay y los Tambores del Sur offer a wild and lively mix of South American styles, suffused by a friendliness that will draw in even unintrepid listeners. - Jim Foley

Audio (p)(c)2002 Sunnyside, used with their permission

Available from cdroots

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