Children of the Revolution


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Liberation is the fourth album from Children of the Revolution, a Seattle-based world fusion group poised between the local and national scene. The tone of the full album is extreme eclecticism as the group fuses a base of flamenco guitar and Greek bouzouki with the full range of European, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and North African sounds, as well as jazz and rock in fair amounts as needed. The album opens with an essentially Greek work that involves everything from a didgeridoo to a hurdy-gurdy in its completion. From there, Yva Las Vegas (yes, it is pronounced that way) takes a primarily solo piece on her cuatro and powerful vocals through Mexican and flamenco forms before handing it over to the group as a whole again (she'll return for another tour de force in "Mariposas" later in the album). Some klezmer clarinet work makes an appearance in an improvisational number on the way through the mix, eventually landing on "Minor Swing," a tribute to Django Reinhardt with heavy use of violinist extraordinaire Geoffrey Castle (aka Jeffrey Sick of the Guarneri Underground) and vocalist Reggie Watts of Maktub (another fusion band making the steps to the national scene), who trade lines and try to outdo one another in speed and complexity. The title track makes use of the full arsenal of musicians, switching soloists and languages effortlessly. Within a few songs, the album comes to a close with Bobby Beer's saz solo track "Bu Sene" and percussionist Mustafa Alkhedairy's extended virtuosic solo on a range of instruments. The musicians on the album are all standouts, with Castle, Alkhedairy, and co-leader Eric Jaeger all performing well above the already high standards set by the band, and the compositions are all worthwhile, both musically and lyrically (generally preaching the word of peace, as any good contemporary eclectic band should). This is what world music is meant to be, with a full fusion of both styles and ideas flowing freely between artists to culminate in a full sound informed by a multitude of forms but not specifically standing as any of those single styles, choosing to forge its own path instead.

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