A development from the annual Fandango Fronterizo Festivals of Vera Cruz son jarocho music, since 2008 performed in San Diego and Tijuana, this two-CD album comes at a particularly acute time when Mexican-American relationships are strained and Latin American immigration and immigrants suffer. Mexico-born jazz artist Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra gathered musicians from various musical styles to help punch cultural holes in the wall that separates the two nations. Noted son jarocho artists are featured along with jazz violinist Regina Carter and cellist Akua Dixon, drummer Antonio Sánchez, the trio of violinists-singers the Villalobos Brothers, rap star Ana Tijoux, Middle Eastern musicians The Rahim AlHaj Trio and Sahba Motallebi, and vocalist Mandy Gonzales. Recorded live and in studio in Tijuana and San Diego (and New York), the tracks are set pieces and also group jams, improvisational fandangos. The simplicity of son jarocho singers with the small guitar, the jarana jarocha, or higher pitched guitar, the requinto, are sandwiched with the full brass Latin orchestra. The album beings with a bang, Xalap Bang!, composed by the Villalobos Brothers and performed by the Orchestra. A Yucatan folk song, El Maquech, features Sánchez and Carter. El Pijul is a powerful piece with the violins of the Villalobos Brothers. The sweet ballad Amor Sin Fronteras matches Gonzalez and Carter. The Orchestra and son jarcho musicians play together in Patricio Hidalgo's Conga Patria. After O'Farrill's quasi classical Invisible Suite, with the Haven String Quartet and the Young People's Chorus of New York City (and a mimic of POTUS's words about building the Wall) comes the Rahim Alhaj Trio in their famous Fly Away. Later, the first disc closes with the familiar and beautiful Cielito Lindo with Carter's violin and O'Farrill's piano.
Disc 2 is similarly presented with the different sounds but includes far more traditional son jaracho works and more improvisational jams. Tabla Rasa is O'Farrill's composition but features the AlHaj Trio and Sahba Motaliabi's Persian tar for world fusion. La Bamba is present also. Sánchez's Minotauro brings contemporary big band jazz and drumming into the festival. After a couple more son jaracho tunes comes Up Against The Wall, which takes on new meaning after the 1960s; Patricio Hidalgo sings his lyrics to the music of Jose Gurria-Cardenas. Gonzalez closes the album with a song in English, Line in The Sand, by Greer Baxter, which leaves us hopeful. Walls can protect yet also insulate. This music is common on both sides of the Wall. The strength of the United States of America [Central and South Americans are Americans, too] comes with diversity and thereby tolerance and respect.
- Original Release Date: September 28, 2018
- Release Date: September 28, 2018
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Resilience Music
- Copyright: ℗© 2018 Resilience Music Alliance LLC
- Total Length: 2:27:16
- ASIN: B07H4J6SDD
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,477 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)