Isidro Lopez

15 More Original Hits, Vol. 2

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The great Tejano innovator Isidro Lopez died in August of 2004, so it seems fitting that a second volume of his hits -- 15 More Original Hits -- was released later the same year. All of these selections have been taken from the recordings Lopez made for IDEAL between 1954 and 1964, capturing the singer/saxophonist in his prime. Lopez is accompanied by fairly large arrangements, featuring horns, strings, and accordion in various combinations, but his penetrating vocals -- smooth, romantic, and deeply felt -- are always front and center. There are fun songs like "Andando en la Parranda," which vacillates between uptempo instrumental sections and slower-paced vocal segments, and simple romantic-styled fare like "Desocupaste Mi Carino." There are fun throwaways like "Mi Rosita" and laid-back fare like "Mi Soldadita." While one might guess that IDEAL chose material they believed would be popular, the songs on 15 More Original Hits never succumb to the cheesy production values one finds with a number of more mainstream bandleaders like Henry Mancini during the '60s. For anyone wishing to trace the roots of Tejano music, or perhaps just pick up an enjoyable collection of well-played and sung songs by Lopez, 15 More Original Hits is a fine place to start.

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