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Radio Tarifa celebrated its tenth anniversary with the 2004 Latin Grammy-nominated Fiebre (Fever), a live album recoreded during a remarkable concert in Toronto, Canada. The album - which The Evening Standard calls "raw, exhilarating, summery and sexy" - captures the dynamism of the live show and takes us on a musical journey spanning the last ten years of Radio Tarifa. The record marks the band's fourth Nonesuch/World circuit release.
Named after a fictional radio station at the southernmost tip of Spain, Radio Tarifa ostensibly would broadcast to the Iberian Peninsula as well as the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Proving that the distance between flamenco and Arabic music, electric and ancient instruments, and African and pop rhythms aren't all that far apart, the aptly named band is a crossroads of musics, cultures and eras. Strong musicianship pulled it together on its three studio efforts, and does so again here on the group's first live album, which was recorded in 2002. While fans are treated to two new songs, the older ones are a revelation as well, offering up fresh versions of favorites like "Ronda de Sanabria," "La Mosca," and "Tangos del Agujero." Indeed, the band seems to be playing to the crowd and for each other throughout, which is the best reason to document any group in the live setting. -Tad Hendrickson
Top Customer Reviews
Radio Tarifa is tremendously talented, with a unique sound. They combine flamenco sounds of Southern Spain with Arabic sounds from Northern Africa. They even use ancient arabic instruments.
This particular album was recorded live (in Canada, I think) and it makes me wish I had been there to hear it. If you've ever been at a live performance where the tension is thick, and the electricity tangible...well, this album is one of those.
This album makes me want to close my eyes and whirl. It makes me feel alive. My senses are heightened. My skin tingles. My mind races. My heart beats louder.
What more can I say? If you like this type of sound, you will love this album. Beautiful. Electric.
I find that one of the beauties of live flamenco concerts - of which RT's style is a unquestionably a spinoff - is that the music is astoundingly "controlled", even the most fiery of solos. There's no Jimi Hendrix, playing with his teeth. In fact, the only "show-off" flamenco guitarist I've ever seen was a German. He's a great guitar player, but analytical, and someone who had clearly mastered his craft through study - definitely not "a natural". He compensated by hopping around on his chair while playing, but his "vibrancy" looked like the result of fire ants in his underpants, not hereditary soul.
In most of the solos in the Fiebre concert, I got the impression the musicians were "showing off" - appealing to the audience rather than focussing on their music - which is the antithesis of what I like.
If you want to try Radio Tarifa, buy Rumba Argelina. It's great, but it demonstrates the problem created by a fantastic first album: the group has a hard time living up to expectations. Imagine if Sergeant Pepper had been the Beatles' first!