Flaco Jiménez / Tomás Ortiz

Los Alegres de Teran

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Leave it to Arhoolie to unearth the great stuff. This double bill combines two living norteño/tejano legends delivering a program of conjunto standards. Accordionist/singer Flaco Jiménez and singer/songwriter Tomás Ortiz are backed by the latter's Los Alegres de Terán, including for this occasion Arturo Jimenéz on drums and percussion. It's also worth mentioning that this band stars two of the greatest horn players in the genre in saxophonist Panchito Villareal and his brother David on trumpet. The album was originally issued in 2005 on Flaco Jiménez's private label, but sold out of its initial pressing quickly. The master languished until Arhoolie came to the rescue. We are all the richer for it. This conjunto program is sung by the pair in the rural dueto style, but musically reflects both the more recent innovations made by Flaco and the "musica norteña" style pioneered by Ortiz and his late musical partner Eugenio Abrego. These ten songs total only 29 minutes, but they more than make up for that in their dance party quotient. Especially notable are Ortiz's polka "Tu Nuevo Cariñito," Felipe Valdéz Leal's "Me Voy Lejos," Pedro Salazar's tragic "Tierra Mala," and Rosalio Loera's romantic bounce "Cuarenta Cartas." But these songs are merely the best of the best. If conjunto is your thing, this set is all killer, no filler.

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