El Coyote y Su Banda Tierra Santa

Suspiros

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Among young Mexicans, banda once had a reputation for being "the music that your parents or grandparents listened to." But in the '90s and early 2000s, artists like Jenni Rivera, Rogelio Martínez, Travieso Musical. and Yvonne "La Potranquita" Pérez did their part to help banda project a younger, hipper, more cutting-edge image -- and they accomplished that by taking an expansive, broad-minded approach. These days, banda explorers are likely to combine the brassy style with anything from soul, doo wop, funk, and hip-hop to salsa and merengue. But there's still room for a more traditional approach to banda, which is pretty much what singer El Coyote y Su Banda Tierra Santa bring to Suspiros. Saying that El Coyote is generally more traditional than Yvonne Pérez or Travieso Musical isn't saying that he is someone who only embraces familiar Mexican standards that are in the public domain -- it isn't like he's performing "Cielito Lindo" followed by "Guadalajara" and "Tecalitlán" followed by several more standards. But he is essentially traditional in the way that someone like Ezequiel Peña is essentially traditional, and he shows himself to be a warm, expressive vocalist on new material, as well as on an inspired performance of Cuco Sánchez's "Que Me Lleve el Diablo" (which is a time-honored Mexican standard). This 2005 release won't go down in history as the most experimental or eclectic banda disc of the mid-2000s -- there are no banda arrangements of Gloria Trevi hits, no tunes that feature rappers and no songs that fuse banda with the merengue and bachata of the Dominican Republic. But Suspiros is a solid, earnest effort that leaves us with a favorable impression of El Coyote and his Sinaloa-minded colleagues.

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