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Los Reyes: Gipsy Legend

Flamenco guitar ensemble Los Reyes was founded nearly 20 years ago by the legendary Jose Reyes, but still remains a family affair with the expert direction of son Antonico Reyes, shown on Gipsy Legend, (Wild Sky/Lightyear 54196-2; 43:18) the band’s first major release to North America. Fans of the popular Gipsy Kings (for whom Antonico has penned several hits) will undoubtedly go wild for Los Reyes’ thick tapestry of hand-clapping flamenco rumba rhythms, compelling vocals and wall of driving guitar. The voices are loud, throaty and emotional on power tunes like “Todos Ole,” and heart-rending on darker melodies like “Corazon Gitano.” But the six-guitar ensemble’s raw, elemental sound is also given appealing pop colors on “Avoir un Ange,” which glides over a modern bass core, and “Noche Blanca,” whose swirling textures include warmer, Mediterranean styles. Reyes gently modernizes the group’s classic flamenco roots, making Gipsy Legend a compelling listen.

Originally Published