Strings Aflame

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Strings Aflame is one of the easier Esquivel records to find, no doubt because many people were turned off by the material. As with Four Corners of the World, Esquivel seems to be proving his chops (this time with arrangements of popular string pieces), rather than doing what he does best or what his fans want most. Nevertheless, it is a fine album, well worth having in stereo. "Turkish March," "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers," "Gypsy Lament," "Guadalajara," and "Misirlou" all receive semi-exotic, unusual treatments. About four or so tunes feature the chorus's patented "zu zu zu" wordless vocal.