Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Martirio & Chano Dominguez: Acoplados

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

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.