Son de la Frontera
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cd cover Son de la Frontera
Son de la Frontera
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Son de la Frontera is a quintet of genetic and spiritual descendents of celebrated flamenco singer-guitarist Diego del Gastor (1908-1973). The "frontier" in the ensemble's name signifies both their home town, Morón de la Frontera, and their readiness to push beyond traditional flamenco into new sonic territory. They bring a contemporary experimental outlook to the project, pairing acoustic nylon-string guitar (Paco de Amparo) with the ringing voice of the Cuban tres (Raúl Rodríguez).
Rounding out the sound are Moi de Morón (voice, percussion), Manuel Flores (percussion) and Pepe Torres (taps). Rodríguez is the son of the inimitable Spanish singer Martirio, around whom the ensemble formed in 1998. His mother's trip to Cuba (where, among other things, she made a guest appearance on Compay Segundo's Lo Mejor De La Vida) yielded a tres for her son, reportedly the group's genesis. The repertoire ranges from the Moorish modal strains of del Gastor's "Arabesco" through bulerías, seguiriyas, soleás, tangos, and the palpable Cuban-son inflections of the final two tracks, "Tangos de mi novia" and "Bulerías de las flores." The album centerpiece is del Gastor's seguiriya "Cambiaron los tiempos" (the times have changed), a tour de force for each performer in turn. Drawing upon but moving through and beyond flamenco, Son de la Frontera's fusion of traditions underscores the cultural affinities of Spanish and Cuban folk roots, and the capacity of each to continue to nourish, refresh and inform the other in new and instructive ways. - Michael Stone

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