Genaro Nunez

Toros and Toreros

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World music collectors will be familiar with the type of albums that are more interesting for their covers than the actual music therein. Not that there's anything that interesting about the painting of a bullfighter and a sort-of bull on the front of Toros and Toreros but it at least evokes a promise of some sort of action, perhaps even live recordings of bullfight crowds gasping and other related noise. This entry in a '60s series called Capitol of the World is a program of music only, pieces known as bullfight pasodobles. They are played by the La Banda de Genaro Nunez, a large orchestra that is predictably heavy on the brass. Genaro Nunez has been active on the Mexican pop scene for quite some time, so it is possible that the "recorded in Mexico" claim is authentic, although it is also possible Nunez might have actually cut this north of the border, with Hollywood sessionmen. That might explain the reaction of a passerby when this album was blasting off a record player on a screened porch: "Is that music from a Marx Brothers film?" That's not such a bad description, though lovers of brass band music may find stimulating moments of filigree and rhythmic aplomb. Most of these tracks, some of which are compositions by the bandleader himself, sound like the orchestra music that might be featured during a segment in a Marx Brothers film where the audience is supposed to be recovering from a previous seizure of laughter. Sides average about 12 minutes per, so this experience is over quickly. Unfortunately, that's not something that can be said about a real bullfight.

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