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July/August 2003

Alex Acuña/Eva Ayllón
Los Hijos del Sol: To My Country
NIDO

Significant portions of Peru's musical spectrum are updated through Los Hijos del Sol: Alex Acuna & Eva Ayllon in To My Country (Nido). Wayne Shorter has uncharacteristically Peruvian divine interventions on soprano sax in "Surco" and "Un Barco Ciego." Paquito D'Rivera's mastery on clarinet and alto sax refine "El Tamalito" and "Animo y Aliento." Ernie Watts has soulful-funky longings on tenor sax in "To My Country." Justo Almario's fine-sounding soprano is a kisser in "La Flor de la Canela." Singer Eva Ayllon--a leading Creole music figure--has a potent voice and range with enough versatility to manage the varied genres and tempos in proper fashion, musical updating notwithstanding. Alex Acuna--the label's owner and the record's producer--takes care of percussive business with the responsiveness required by the wide array of genres and moods. In "El Tamalito," percussive coloring requires the finesse and depth of Afro-Cuban bat , while Acuna assumes a salsified role in "Animo y Aliento." Operatic-sounding Regina Acuna sings elegant and haunting quechua in "Paras Shayan," a tune better known in the Andean musical vernacular as "Iquitos." Jazz is in the disc too, but 21st-century Peru is at the forefront of the release.

Originally published in July/August 2003
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