Sones de México Ensemble Chicago

Esta Tierra Es Tuya (This Land Is Your Land)

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This Chicago-based group takes the idea of Mexican son quite a distance, expanding the possibilities and terms of the genre in delightful ways. It takes some remarkably unexpected turns, such as including "Brandenburg Concerto No. 3" by Bach, which actually stands quite naturally close to "Inchapikua" where the instruments intertwine in similar ways. The vast majority of the material is traditional, and superbly arranged and played. When they bring in outsiders, such as the brass section more generally associated with mariachi music, it's well blended, as on "Eres Bella Flor," but they're perhaps more at home on a piece like "Jarabe Planeco," powered by roaring fiddle. There's a storming, emotive taken on the famous "La Llorena," while a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Four Sticks" takes the song to a place never before imagined -- but it works. The same applies to Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," performed as a norteño. Altogether, a triumph.

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