Tapia eta Leturia - Hain Zuzen
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Tapia eta Leturia
Hain Zuzen
Gaztelupeko Hotsak (www.hotsak.com)

cd cover The Basque trikitixa duo of Joseba Tapia and Xabier Leturia are joined by Arkaitz Miner, mandolin and violin, and Jexux Aranbaru on piano, (all four do vocals) in a collection of old and new songs. Recorded live in their native Navarre, the sound quality of this CD, under the guiding hand of Ruper Ordorika, is first rate. The lively music is influenced by Basque triki traditions, but also owes much to La Bottine Souriante, La Bolduc and the tradition of acoustic music in French Quebec. Miner's violin, mandolin and the use of Aranburu's piano, the call-response singing, and the Bottine-esque key changes contribute to this impression. (Basque triki is often a much more pared down affair, with simpler structure.)

Leturia is a powerful and inspiring percussionist with superb timing, and Tapia is one of the best accordionists alive today. While Tapia's slightly nasal tenor is not always the most colorful, the music is driven ever forward by relentless foot percussion, and panderoa (Basque tambourine) making it impossible to stand still while listening to this music.

But, while happy sounding, the songs deal with serious Basque and international issues. "Wafa" deals with the struggles of the Palestinians; "Compostelako erromesa" (Compostela Pilgrim) is an expression of solidarity with Galician activists. "Arraun" (Let's Row) is Quebec folksinger Paul Piché's encouragement to keep rowing towards the goal, however hard the going may be.

Basque politics are never far from the surface. In the lively Albiste Zirinolak, (Crap news) the message comes through clearly as Tapia sings:
"Don't think these people have changed/from peaceful to violent/they simply want to live/in an ordinary country/not one divided and oppressed."

"Aritmetika arazoak" (Arithmetic Problems) also deals with Basque issues and "Loiolako porrusalda" (Ignatius Loyola) is a song that pokes fun at the 16th century Jesuit leader from Gipuzkoa who, among other crimes, "sold Navarre to the enemy."

A colorful booklet includes photos, lyrics (all in Euskera) and translations into three languages (English, French and Spanish). - David Cox

The artists' web site: www.tapiaetaleturia.com

CD available from cdRoots

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