August 29, 2003

MACUILXOCHITL: Five Flower”, the Aztec god of music and dance

The Latin Scene at the Street Scene

The Latin Alternative Music conference was once again a major success. Congratulations and a very respectful nod to both Thomas Cookman and Cookman International and Josh Norek of JN Media for continuing to provide the Latin Alternative music scene with respectability and legitimacy on that side of the business. While the artists and music have established themselves among fans, the conference, now in its third year, has added a high visibility forum to showcase the talent and provide a substantial base of support from the music industry and media. Inside word is that Jumbo and Plastelina Mosh provided the highlight of this year’s conference performing a rendition of Styx’s “Mr. Roboto.” 

Street Scene has once again opened itself up to the Latino scene again. After a few years of ignorance, Rob Hagey has included a few acts to cater to the Latino music fans. Be sure to catch Kinky, Ozomatli, and Veterans, Café Tacuba.

  XXX 30 Años-El Mundo Raro Del Que Sigue Siendo El Rey is a new tribute CD paying homage to Mexican singer and composer, the late José Alfredo Jimenez. The list of contributors is a virtual who’s who of Rock en Español and features, among others, Elefante, Aterciopelados, Bacilos, Rabanes, El Tri, Jumbo, Julieta Venegas, and Miguel Mateos. It’s also nice to see artists representing countries other than Mexico.

The compilation was put together by Jose Sr.’s son, José Alfredo Jr. with a bit of help from BMG. In addition to some very inspirational interpretations by Moderato, Venegas, Jumbo and others, two of the best songs are the tunes essentially completed by Saul Hernández and Elefante. They were given songs that reportedly were left unfinished by ‘El Rey’ with only the lyrics complete. The artists were invited o then compose their own music with Elefante adding upbeat modern sounds to compliment the song’s title and theme, “Fugitivo.” Hernández reached back and chose a more traditional route using Marichi’s to accompany him effectually articulating the sentiments and aura of “Asi Es Mi Amor.” The result is a thing of beauty that further carries the well deserved reputation of each man and artist. 

New CD’s are out or on their way from the following artists… Macuil has had to chance to listen to early issues of them and they are amazing… keep your eyes and ears open for the new Alejandro Sanz release, No es lo mismo. From the sounds of the first single of the same name, it proves to be a bit more rock oriented and as always, original and of the highest quality. I’m not usually a fan of the “pop” stuff, but this Spaniard is s true artist.

Poncho Sanchez, the amazing percussionist, and all around cool guy who grew up not to too far up the road, has a new disc that will be out entitled, Out of Sight. It’s an amazing piece of work with a variety of sounds interpreted by the Latin Jazz legend, if not innovator, with a guest appearance by none other than the great Ray Charles.

By Francisco Ciriza

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