Salrumba

From New York to Spain

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No discussion of Salrumba's music would be complete without some mention of the "flamenco nuevo" or "flamenco rock" that excited young Spanish audiences in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Combining flamenco with pop, rock and/or R&B, flamenco nuevo underscored the musical generation gap in Spain: older flamenco purists have detested it, while younger listeners have been drawn to its ambitious nature. From New York to Spain isn't flamenco nuevo, but the risk-taking jazz CD is certainly indebted to it. This New Jersey band's awareness of modern flamenco proves to be a major asset when they successfully fuse it with jazz on fresh-sounding pieces like "De Bulerias," "Times Square" and "El Mesonero." And while contemporary Spanish music is Salrumba's strongest influence in the Latin world, touches of everything from salsa to Brazilian and Peruvian music are heard on this imaginative album. As far as jazz influences go, names that come to mind include Chick Corea as well as early Spyro Gyra (specifically, the stuff the band recorded before becoming so predictable and formulaic). Not for purists in either the jazz or flamenco worlds, From New York to Spain is a disc that more adventurous listeners will find of interest.