Under the rubric of "Mexican music" there exists a heterogeneous constellation of genres, styles, and sounds. Though many North Americans have a tendency to oversimplify and equate all Mexican music with Mariachi, such distinctive genres and regional styles as Norteno, Banda, Cumbia, Son Huesteco, and Son Jarocho -- to name but a few -- flourish in and outside of Mexico. On La Trova Tradicional de Yucatan: 1928-1932 23 vintage 78 rpm recordings of one distinctive Mexican song form known as Yucatecan Trova have been brought together. This particular Trova, or popular music genre, flourished in the Yucatan city of Merida between the 1900s and the 1940s. Now all but forgotten, the Yucatecan Trova was sung by serenaders and played on a variety of guitars, vihuelas, guitarrones, and other stringed instruments. It was heavily influenced by Cuban rhythms and, thanks in great measure to an energetic literary scene in early 20th century Merida, the lyrical content of the songs were infused with rich, poetic texts. Each of the songs on La Trova Tradicional de Yucatan: 1928-1932 comes across as being performed with sincere, heartfelt, and amorous sentiments. The ensembles responsible for these emotive performances include Quinteto Merida, Duo MediaSalas, Los Peninsualres, and Cancioneros Yucatecos. Equally attractive to both the tragic romantic and the rigid music researcher, this album is a must have for anyone interested in exploring Mexico's incredible musical diversity.
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AllMusic Review by John Vallier