Regional Mexican music has evolved considerably over the years, but one thing that hasn't changed in the regional Mexican market is the popularity of corridos (Mexican folk narratives). Corridos have been around since the 19th century, and they continued to be quite popular in the late 2000s. Once dominated by mariachi bands, corridos are now prevalent in norteño, banda, duranguense, sierreño, and tierra caliente circles; that said, regional Mexican albums that are dominated by corridos are the exception rather than the rule, but Los Corridos Favoritos del Jefe ("The Boss' Favorite Corridos") is such an album. Efrén Aguilar, aka El Tigrillo Palma, doesn't perform corridos exclusively on this best-of collection; "Tu Nuevo Cariñito" is really a ranchera rather than a corrido. But at least 90-percent of the 36-minute CD is devoted to corridos, and Palma's mastery of the corrido form is evident on spirited tracks such as "Por las Calles Enlodadas," "El Corrido del Chapo," and "La Botella"--all of which will probably be familiar to those who have been following Palma's career closely. Also included is Palma's hit "Los Chiquinarcos," which is an example of a narcocorrido (a corrido about drug smuggling). Throughout this collection, Palma enjoys minimalist accompaniment that consists of only acoustic guitar and chugging tuba; corridos can be well served by everything from a giant 18-piece banda to only two or three musicians, and for Palma, minimalist instrumentation definitely does the trick. Intimacy works well for El Tigrillo Palma on Los Corridos Favoritos del Jefe, which is an appropriate starting point if one is exploring the Sinaloa native's work for the first time.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson