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Album Review

While guitarist Jesse Cook applies a commercial sensibility to flamenco tradition, those intrigued enough to explore deeper shadings of the art form should cozy up to this project, a sparse, haunting weave of Miguel Espinoza's percussive guitar and Ty Burhoe's classical North Indian drums. Despite the origin of Burhoe's instruments, Curandero's terrain is that of the American Indian. Banjo man Bela Fleck's involvement in this unusual Southwestern journey should encourage an open mind toward this free form display, some of whose tracks are pure rhythm and atmosphere and clock in at over ten minutes. Fleck adds spice to the jam "Segue" and spins around the shadows of the female shaman on "Embrujada." The real energy, however, comes from the rumbling basslines of Kai Echhardt, who makes the finger snap laced "Flirtatious" the album's most memorable tune. Adding another dimension is a chanting choir known as the Ars Nova Singers. Curandero is an acquired taste, taking a few listens to fully absorb, but well worth the challenge.

Aras, Curandero
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