Dominguez_span3
May 2007

Martirio & Chano Dominguez
Acoplados
Sunnyside

If you don’t know copla, with its centuries-old Spanish roots that stretch as far back as flamenco, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dazzling or delightful introduction than this. Backed by the magical Big Band and Orquestra Sinfonica de RTVE and performing live at Madrid’s grand Teatro Monumental, singer Martirio and pianist Chano (whom many will remember from his pivotal appearance in the 2000 documentary Calle 54) take the dusty song form and, without compromising any of copla’s majesty, inject it with a modern sense of swing worthy of Billy May or Nelson Riddle. Listening to these masters as they progress from the easy, sunny groove of “Te Lo Juro Yo” and “Locura de Mi Querer” to the exotic, Afro-Cuban sizzle of “Me Embrujaste,” the cumulative effect is pure, rapturous joy. But their magnificence isn’t fully realized until the disc’s 12th and final track, as they fully immerse themselves in the hushed, mournful regality of “Nana Vidalita de Filigranas.” It’s as profoundly hypnotic as the rest of the album is scintillating.

Originally published in May 2007
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