Rogelio Martinez

Tu Delirio

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Like Jenni Rivera, Rogelio Martínez has done his part to push Mexican banda music forward in the '90s and 2000s. Martínez doesn't throw tradition out the door by any means, but he doesn't allow himself to be constricted by it either; the Sinaloa native can, depending on the mood he is in, either be more traditional in his approach or combine banda with anything from Latin pop to the tropical/salsa/cumbia side of things. Martínez, arguably, has approached banda in much the same way that Chick Corea or Wayne Shorter have approached jazz -- he forges ahead yet still sees the need to go back at times and examine musical history, which is what happens on Tu Delirio. This 2005 release is a tribute album, and the people Martínez is paying tribute to are Mexican composers Juan Villareal and Ignacio "Nacho" Hernández. Martínez salutes them on his own terms, offering an inspired banda/norteño blend that unites banda's brassy splendor with norteño-style accordion. Think of it as Sinaloa by way of Southern Texas -- an approach that serves Martínez pleasingly well whether he is putting his stamp on familiar songs by Hernández (including "El Limpia Vidrios," "Tus Lindos Ojitos Verdes," and "Lagrimas de Sangre") or Villareal ("Regalo Caro," "Me Voy a Cortar las Venas," and "El Comandante Fuentes," among others). Not everything on Tu Delirio is by Villareal or Hernández, but their work dominates this 39-minute CD. Hernández's "Vida Prestada," it should be noted, is heard in two versions: the main banda/norteño mix and a norteño-only version that Fonovisa offers as a bonus track at the end. A thoughtful, nicely planned project, Tu Delirio is likely to go down in history as one of the finest albums in Martínez's generally impressive catalog.

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