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[Off The Record]
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Los Super Seven

This week’s Los Lobos side project revives and expands the ad hoc Mexican-American band who first came together at the South by Southwest festival in 1997. The core four are still David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of East LA’s Los Lobos, Tejano musician Ruben Ramos, and country singer Rick Treviño, a Mex-Texan who has turned away from Nashville and back toward his roots. Canto takes a Pan–Latin American twist with the addition of Cuban-American Raul Malo of the Mavericks, Peruvian singer Susana Baca, and Brazilian star Caetano Veloso. Most of the tunes are lovingly rendered yet hiply arranged standards. The lead track, " Siboney, " is the toughest to get used to: this Cuban classic fuses Malo’s Orbison-like romanticism with a lean, spooky undercurrent. Don’t vote it off the island or it will haunt you.

Another exotic moon revolving around Los Super Seven’s Mexican-American sun is Baca’s " Drumi Mobila, " which seems a blend of Andean mountain music and 1960s Japanese pop (i.e., " Sukiyaki " ). And Trevino reaches out to Colombian folk music in the grabber " Paloma Guarumera. " On this otherwise predominantly Spanish-language album, Veloso’s Portuguese tracks seem a little out of place. But the session’s inclusive spirit and subtle yet muscular musicianship make even these score, in the immortal expression of Univision soccer announcer Andrés Cantor, a " GOOOOOOOAL!!! "


Issue Date: March 22 - March 29, 2001

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