La sal de la vida is Spanish for "the spice of life." This Madrid-based vocal trio strings together 13 songs of beautiful vocals rich in the Arabian-Iberian cultural confluence peculiar to that area where Europe dips down via the Iberian Peninsula to nearly touch north Africa. Expressing such ostensibly prosaic sentiments as "A Lavandeira (To the Laundromat)" with such intoxicating and limpid vocal display is to suggest the intrinsic beauty in even life's simplest moments. Actually, thanks to translated texts provided, you can enjoy the song on another level. This graceful and enchanting duet is the ghost story of wandering women condemned to wash the blood from the clothes of infanticides. Still, the vision inspired by the delicate song is one of two women brightening the time of household chores. Following is an equally moving Arabian piece, "Darira." This is the song of a young maiden enchanted by the trappings and hope of a wedding ceremony. Musically, Spain is well represented through the flamenco guitar of Xesus Pimentel brightening the selection. Xesus, like vocalist Uxia, is from the northwest region of Spain known as Galicia. Maria Salgado (vocals and castanets) is Castilian while the singer and percussionist on darabukke (single-head goblet drum), panderosa (tambourine), and maracas is from Sudan. Palmas (handclaps) and cajon add definitive percussion throughout. Each woman is known and busy as a singer in her own right. They get together here simply to celebrate great music outside of their individual discographies. The combination of their talent and moving repertoire combines to make this cross-cultural side project unforgettable and classic. Lightly arranged to frame the world-class voices present, the features here are the solo, duo, and trio explorations of Iberian and north African themes. In this uncluttered presentation of consummate group ability, the album is much more than world music; it is exquisite vocal treatments of folk themes by a rare, stellar union of female singers.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Schulte