Banda el Recodo

Me Gusta Todo de Ti

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Many things have changed in Mexican banda music since the late '30s. Banda went from being instrumentalist-oriented to being vocalist-oriented, and it went from being commercially overshadowed by mariachi and norteño to being a prominent, highly visible part of the regional Mexican market. Further, something that was once considered mainly a local style (with the Mexican state of Sinaloa being the creative epicenter) is now easy to find all over Mexico and the southwestern United States. But one thing that hasn't changed in banda is the presence of Banda el Recodo, who celebrated their 71st anniversary in 2009; their late 2009 release, Me Gusta Todo de Ti, was described as a 70th anniversary album, although it's actually a 71st anniversary album because Recodo's original lineup was formed in 1938. And on this 56-minute CD, Recodo continue to be stylistically relevant to the 21st century banda scene while offering some acknowledgment of their past. That acknowledgment comes in the form of several instrumentals. For many years, Recodo performed instrumentals exclusively -- and even though they eventually became vocal-oriented, Recodo didn't give instrumentals up. On Me Gusta Todo de Ti, those instrumentals range from the bolero-flavored "Por Amor" to the jazz-influenced "De Pueblo en Pueblo" (which has a strong swing appeal but is much brassier than swing orchestras are known for being). But while the instrumentals show Recodo's diversity, the vocal tracks show even more diversity simply because there are a lot more of them -- and on the vocal side, Recodo perform everything from Latin pop-minded offerings ("Solo Para Ti") to ranchera-based material ("Quisiera Quererte Mas," "Ya No Te Voy a Rogar") to tracks with a tropical-like exuberance ("Caminando y Meando," "Candela Verde"). For all its diversity, however, Me Gusta Todo de Ti is engagingly consistent. It's great to see Banda el Recodo still enjoying both creative and commercial success after all these years.

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