Aco Bocina

Aco Bocina and Fanfare Ciocarlia

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Aco Bocina has produced a disc of mostly stunning nuevo flamenco. A superb guitarist -- just listen to his work on the second half on "Emocion" to get an idea of his skills -- he's also one to pull together disparate strands of the gypsy experience, working with Balkan brass ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia on four tracks of this album. It's a deadly combination as they work off each other, pushing the tension higher, especially on "Dance of the Spirits," which simply spirals higher and higher before releasing the tension. At the other end of the spectrum is "Split My Love," as saccharine a piece of new flamenco as you're likely to find anywhere. However, the rest of the album displays plenty of strengths, and Bocina redeems himself with the muscular "Oltremare" before closing with a spirited "Vagabundo." So with the exception of a single track that shows a lapse of taste, this is a fine, fine record indeed.

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